Legalising SSM Would Prevent 3,000 Suicide Attempts Per Year, Report Finds

Using a combination of peer-reviewed research by top adolescent mental health experts and statistics from an Australian governmental report, five of the foremost mental health groups in the country have jointly released results today which say enabling same-sex marriage would prevent 3000 teen suicide attempts a year.

The statement, from the coalition of respected groups ReachOut, Headspace, Orygen, the Black Dog Institute and Sydney University’s Brain and Mind Centre, heavily shines a light on one of the biggest concerns the LGBTIQ community has been raising amidst the ongoing postal survey process: that of vulnerable queer and questioning teenagers’ mental health.

Again cutting through the endless torrent of misleading arguments and outright deception from the ‘No’ side, such as the notion that introducing marriage equality will have negative effects on society, the report highlights the severity of mental health issues and suicidal tendencies of LGBTIQ kids, pointing to how a small change in the marriage law will save lives.

One of the main scientifically proven outcomes the report utilises is the statistic that countries which have introduced marriage equality have seen a 7 per cent relative reduction in suicide attempts. In Australia, where one in 40 of all 12 to 17-year-olds reportedly have attempted suicide in the previous 12 months, the change in a society which accepts same-sex relationships as equal would be dramatic.

Spokesperson Jono Nicholas notes on how the study has nothing to do with politics or ideologies, but is simply a fact-based attempt at increasing health and safety nation-wide:

As Australia’s leading youth mental health organisations, we see, hear and feel the real and devastating link between LGBTIQ discrimination and youth suicide rates and mental illness every day. This has only been heightened by the decision to proceed with this postal survey, despite our warnings.

We therefore feel collectively compelled to intervene in this debate to ensure Australians have access to real clinical evidence and research, not alternate facts and fiction.

The research results sit in stark opposition to recent claims from the likes of Liberal MP Matt Canavan that queer community members suffering from the recent increased levels of public homophobia and hate speech need to “grow a spine”, and ACL head Lyle Shelton’s beyond reprehensible, fallacious statement that “homophobia doesn’t exist much in Australia anymore.”

With this damning report released, it’s becoming more and more clear that the ‘Yes’ campaign has logic, science, data and morality on its side, whilst the ‘No’ camp continues to run purely on bigotry.

If this story as caused distress, or if you or someone you know are being bullied, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 338 881 for anonymous, 24/7 counselling and advice.