RCN launches toolkit to help prevent suicide in LGBT youth
Reprinted from Published: 13 March 2015
The RCN, in collaboration with Public Health England (PHE), has launched a toolkit to guide nurses and other health professionals in the prevention of suicide in lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender (LGBT) young people.
LGBT youth are at a higher risk of suicide than their heterosexual peers due to the impact and fear of stigma, discrimination and rejection from society.
Reducing the risk of suicide
The toolkit aims to equip nurses with the knowledge and skills to provide effective support to LGBT young people and help reduce the risk of suicide.
The National Aids Trust recently reported that 99% of LGBT teenagers had received abuse from school mates due to their sexual orientation, whilst a 2014 study by METRO Centre found that 44% of LGB youth had thought of suicide and half had experience of self-harm.
Nurses are uniquely placed
Nurses are uniquely placed to support LGBT young people who have not accessed mental health services.
The toolkit provides insight into the experiences of LGBT young people, and offers practical advice and resources on key areas including:
• Risk factors
• Confidentiality and consent
• Effective communication
Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN, said:
“Suicide in any situation is a tragedy and nurses have a duty to identify risk factors and prevent suicide wherever possible.
“The RCN is dedicated to addressing the problems facing lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Our ambition for this toolkit is to help nurses deliver the best possible care to LBG young people experiencing mental health issues, in order to help save lives across the UK.
An important and often overlooked issue
Dr Carter added: “This toolkit should help to highlight an important and often overlooked issue, and should ultimately be integrated into the National Suicide Prevention Strategy to ensure LGB young people receive the support they deserve.”
The toolkit is available to download from the Gov.uk website