Written by Travis Salway Hottes
Given that gay and bisexual men continue to face pervasive stigma, it is not surprising that we also have disproportionately high rates of suicide in our communities. Suicide continues to affect gay and bisexual men of all ages, in spite of important gains in legal protections for sexual minorities in some countries. Suicide thus remains a major cause of death for gay and bisexual men. In 2011, it is estimated that as many Canadian gay and bisexual men died from suicide as died from HIV (Hottes, Ferlatte and Gesink, 2015).
Suicide is preventable. People who are thinking about suicide are experiencing severe emotional pain, but there are ways to alleviate this pain or to help people cope. In our new report, Preventing Suicide Among Gay and Bisexual Men: New Research and Perspectives, we present some recent findings from Canadian research, conducted by myself, Olivier Ferlatte, Joshun Dulai, and other colleagues from the CBRC, on this urgent public health issue. We share this research with the goal of creating and improving suicide prevention activities for gay and bisexual men in Canada. We believe that data creates action, and at the end of this report we offer some potential ways forward for gay communities to address this important health inequity.
We hope this report will add to your understanding of suicide among gay and bisexual men but also inspire questions, and open space for others to talk about the issue of suicide in our communities. We’d love to hear your feedback at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Crisis Centre of BC training: training for LGBT community organization service providers, staff, and volunteers, contact: crisiscentre.bc.ca/safetalktraining
If you are thinking about suicide, there are people who can help you find other solutions. Please call your local crisis centre: suicideprevention.ca/need help