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Breaking the Silence: GAMIAN's Project on Suicidality in LGBTQIA+ Communities

Partner Project

In recent years, the global population has witnessed a concerning decline in mental health and well-being, exacerbated by events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a 25% increase in anxiety and depression globally during this period (WHO, 2022). However, amidst this broader mental health crisis, certain vulnerable groups, including the LGBTQIA+ community, face even higher risks of suicide attempts and suicidal ideation.

Studies conducted in 2020 revealed alarming statistics within the LGBTQIA+ population, particularly among young individuals in Europe. Research by Gambadauro (2020) demonstrated that young LGBTQIA+ people were up to two and a half times more likely to experience suicidal ideation and have previous suicide attempts compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Similarly, Stonewall's "LGBT in Britain – Health Report" found that 13% of LGBTQIA+ individuals aged 18-24 attempted suicide, a stark contrast to the national average of fewer than 1% (Bachmann & Gooch, 2018). Moreover, a study examining lifetime suicide attempts in adult sexual minority groups revealed alarming figures, with 30% of 18-24-year-olds and 21% of 52-57-year-olds reporting at least one suicide attempt (Ilan H. Meyer, 2021).

Addressing the Gap

While quantitative studies have shed light on suicide rates among LGBTQIA+ individuals, there exists a significant gap in understanding the experiences of those living with severe mental illness (SMI) within this community. Recognizing this gap, GAMIAN-Europe, in collaboration with key organizations like IGLYO and IASP LGBTQIA+ Special Interest Group, initiated the #BreakingSuicideStigma campaign's second phase, specifically focusing on the experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals with SMI.

GAMIAN-Europe's project took a structured and inclusive approach, conducting two interconnected online workshops on July 11 and 27, 2023. These workshops aimed to gather comprehensive insights into the mental health challenges and suicidality experiences faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals living with SMI.

From the rich insights provided by young experts with lived experiences, the project culminated in the creation of an interactive toolkit. This toolkit addresses the specific needs and challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals within the context of severe mental illness. Additionally, a joint policy statement with recommendations for policymakers, spanning from local government to the European level, was developed. The project also prioritized amplifying personal narratives by featuring testimonial videos from three workshop participants, providing a human face to the struggles faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals dealing with mental health challenges and suicidality.


GAMIAN-Europe's initiative is a significant step towards breaking the silence surrounding mental health challenges within the LGBTQIA+ community. By shedding light on the experiences of those with severe mental illness, the project contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the intersectionality of discrimination faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals. The creation of practical tools and policy recommendations underscores GAMIAN's commitment to tangible, positive change for the mental well-being of LGBTQIA+ individuals.

To access more information and resources related to this groundbreaking project, visit and join the conversation in advocating for mental health inclusivity and support within the LGBTQIA+ community.

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