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This webinar, produced in partnership with the National LGBTI Health Alliance, explores the importance and benefits of creating LGBTIQA+ specific learning environments to build suicide awareness and response skills – for, with and within our own communities.

Mental Health Month 2020 provided us a moment to reflect on the specific experiences and needs of LGBTIQA+ people – who, as growing research shows us, still experience a higher risk of distress, mental health concerns and suicide than non-LGBTIQA+ people. However, many feel less able or willing to access or engage with mainstream suicide prevention and support services, seeking instead LGBTIQA+ specific services, community or peer support; or not reaching out at all if they can’t find a “safe” option.

Recently, Twenty10 has contributed to the development of an LGBTI adaptation of ASIST – an internationally recognised 2-day suicide first aid skills workshop. We deliver this tailored ASIST as part of a range of training in Twenty10’s Community Connector Suicide Prevention program, funded as part of NSW Health’s community gatekeeper initiative. Our aim in this work is to build our communities confidence and capacity to understand and provide suicide first aid support.

This webinar was a dialogue, exploring the importance of providing tailored suicide first aid training and support specifically for, with and within LGBTIQA+ communities. We will reflect on our experiences and lessons learned from delivering the tailored ASIST, through a dialogue between Michelle Parker, a highly experienced ASIST trainer and two new ASIST trainers working together at Twenty10. Questions they will pose to each other include: ‘why is this work important to be done by and for our own communities?’; ‘why is it important to talk about suicide safer LGBTIQA+ communities?’; and ‘what are some reflections as an experienced/emerging facilitator in this space?’