Development of best practice guidelines for clinical and community service providers to prevent suicide in LGBTQA+ young people: A Delphi expert consensus study

Penelope Strauss, Larissa Marion, Nicole T.M. Hill, Dylan Gilbey, Zoe Waters, Julia K. Moore, Marco Costanza, Michelle Lamblin, Jo Robinson, Ashleigh Lin, Yael Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to develop best practice guidelines for preventing suicide and reducing suicidal thoughts and behaviours in LGBTQA+ young people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, asexual, and those of other diverse sexualities and genders) within clinical and community service settings in Australia. Methods: We conducted a Delphi expert consensus study. A systematic literature search and interviews with key informants informed an initial 270-item questionnaire. Two expert panels completed the questionnaire, delivered over two rounds: (1) Australian professionals with expertise in LGBTQA+ mental health/suicide prevention and (2) Australian LGBTQA+ young people aged 14–25 with lived experience of suicidal thoughts and/or behaviours. Items endorsed as ‘essential’ or ‘important’ by >80% of both expert panels were included in the guidelines. Results: A total of 115 people participated in the Delphi process; n = 52 professionals completed Round 1, and n = 42 completed Round 2; n = 63 LGBTQA+ young people completed Round 1, and n = 50 completed Round 2. A total of 290 items were included in the guidelines and grouped into: (1) general principles for creating an affirming and inclusive environment for LGBTQA+ young people; (2) assessing suicide risk and working with suicidal LGBTQA+ young people; (3) considerations for specific LGBTQA+ populations; and (4) advocating for LGBTQA+ young people. Conclusion: These guidelines are the first of their kind in Australia. They provide practical support to service providers regardless of prior training in LGBTQ+ identities or mental health, with the aim of reducing suicidal thoughts and behaviours, and preventing suicide, in LGBTQA+ young people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-434
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume58
Issue number5
Early online date13 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

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