Historically, LGBTI people and communities have been relatively invisible in mental health and suicide prevention strategies, policies and frameworks and thus excluded from program and project responses. This document aims to provide you with Strategies for Action that will ensure that targeted responses adequately and appropriately support the needs of LGBTI people and communities as a priority. This is overdue and essential if we are truly to work towards the targets we have set ourselves as a country to tackle suicide.
Community Interventions to Reduce Suicide in Later Life
The greatest burdens of suicide, in terms of potential years of life lost or potential earnings lost, occur among men between 25 to 54 years old, reflecting fundamental demographic characteristics of the population and sustained elevated rates across these years. Yet, the individuals who comprise this broader population generally have received the least attention from many of those who are committed to developing methods of prevention and clinical intervention.
It’s one of the most pressing issues facing our teens today – the lack of support for mental illness and its tragic consequences, such as suicide. 1.2 million Canadian children and youth are affected by mental illness – yet less than one-quarter of them are getting help. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among our youth.
Although men in the middle years (MIMY)—that is, men 35–64 years of age—represent 19 percent of the population of the United States, they account for 40 percent of the suicides in this country. The number of men in this age group and their relative representation in the U.S. population are both increasing.
First responders—paramedics, firefighters, police, corrections officers—are considered to be at greater risk for Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than most other occupations. This is because their everyday duties routinely encounter “traumatic stressors” (Haugen, 2012, p.370). Some researchers believe that experiencing PTSD is also a highrisk factor for subsequent suicidal behaviours (Sareen, et al., 2007). Military suicides related to PTSD have been covered extensively by the media in recent years.
Faith communities are a natural setting for suicide prevention. Individuals with mental health problems, including those who are suicidal, frequently turn to faith community leaders for help.