Almost half of the transgender community living in Australia have reportedly attempted at least one suicide attempt in their lifetime. LGBTQI individuals are five to eleven times more likely to attempt suicide than any other in the country.
According to a new report, mainstream health services aren’t the first place the community turns to in times of crisis due to prevailing mistrust in their practices and owing to prejudice they fear encountering in Victoria. The suicide rate has been found appalling and “totally unacceptable” says the chair of Victoria’s mental health royal commission.
Victoria’s Gender and Sexuality Commissioner, Ro Allen, has raised a need for more LGBTQI friendly mental health services as a preventive measure to check the trauma. The figures presented, in fact, too are being questioned, for being under reported. Matters could be far more serious than being evidenced. “I [am] very challenged by that data,” the commission’s chair, Penny Armytage said.
Discrimination against the community that stems from unacceptability can often lead to physical and verbal abuse, as a common occurrence. Up till 1970s. homosexuality was considered a mental disorder curable through various intrusive methods. Prejudice against them is rampant very openly even today. But mental health services, a supposed unbiased platform cannot exhibit signs of discrimination as this will interfere with their treatment of the patient.
“[The fear of] being discriminated when you arrive at a hospital or health service is so critical. I think that services run by, delivered for, and with LGBTI people are really important because, for some people they’re just not going to access mainstream services”, said Ro Allen, the Commissioner.