The problematic politics of LGBT+ suicide prevention within the UK


Notice on terminology: On this weblog, I’m the time period utilizing ‘LGBT+’ as it’s the time period used within the paper.

To grasp how well being and social coverage impacts residents, maybe we first want to grasp how the ‘issues’ that the insurance policies goal to ‘resolve’ are formulated. Such coverage drawback building occurs in a broader social and political context: ‘social coverage doesn’t emerge in a vacuum…Social coverage is at all times formed by the considerations, pursuits, concepts, and materials circumstances amid which coverage makers discover themselves. It attracts on prevailing discourses and obtainable narratives’ (Cameron, 2018 p.51).

For instance, the 1957 Wolfenden Report drew on prevailing discourses about homosexuality being a psychological sickness. Analysis on the time revealed that the Wolfenden Committee included psychiatrists who argued that medical remedy could possibly be preferable to imprisonment for homosexual or bisexual males (Scott, 1958). Though the Report resulted in momentous legislative reform that decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales, the coverage drawback of homosexuality was partially grounded in a illness discourse.

On this paper, Hazel Marzetti and colleagues (2023) are involved with the coverage building of the LGBT+ suicide ‘drawback’. Reporting on the findings of analysis that was performed as half of a bigger venture on the politics of suicide and suicide prevention within the UK, they discover LGBT+ suicide as mentioned and represented in UK suicide prevention insurance policies and parliamentary debates.

Social policies have the power to construct and maintain dominant narratives and discourses about communities in society, including LBGT+ people.

Social insurance policies have the ability to assemble and keep dominant narratives and discourses about communities in society, together with LBGT+ folks.


The authors have been guided by the elemental query ‘What’s the Drawback Represented to be?’ (WPR) which is an method to vital coverage evaluation (Bacchi & Goodwin, 2016). They aimed to discover the way in which the suicide ‘drawback’ is represented in authorities debate and coverage, positioning it as a ‘product’ of political practices.

As a part of a broader research on the politics of suicide and suicide prevention, parliamentary proceedings and related suicide prevention paperwork for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Eire from 2009-2019 have been thematically analysed. Via this major evaluation the authors discovered that LGBT+ folks have been fairly often represented as a gaggle with increased charges of suicidality and suicide, who require specialist suicide prevention help.

Prompted by this discovering, they then undertook an additional evaluation and found that 79 of the parliamentary debates talked about LGBT+ suicide. They mixed this information on LGBT+ suicide with that from their evaluation of eight suicide prevention coverage paperwork from England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Eire (two from every of the UK nations). Guided by the WPR method, the dataset was thematically analysed, and the analysis staff mentioned similarities and variations.


‘Statistical invisibility’

The analysis investigation uncovered an issue characterised by ‘a cycle of statistical invisibility’. The dearth of figures on LGBT+ suicide, suicide threat and proof on intervention effectiveness is utilized in some insurance policies as a cause to justify marginalising LGBT+ folks in suicide discount efforts and to clarify a scarcity of specialist help provision. Nevertheless, the insurance policies in query don’t name for motion to enhance this example.

Conceptualisations of ‘threat’

Whereas the language of threat is utilized in coverage to help the argument for extra applicable suicide prevention companies for LGBT+ folks, threat building typically ignores the context. In these instances, threat is positioned inside the particular person and suicide is seen as a ‘pathological state’. Positioning LGBT+ folks as inherently ‘dangerous’ can imply disregarding the exterior structural influences on excessive misery, well being inequalities and doubtlessly impede the scope of suicide prevention companies.

‘Hate kills’

Insurance policies and debates relating to suicide prevention amongst LGBT+ folks typically focus on stigma, bullying and discrimination, one thing notably evident in discussions on younger LGBT+ folks and bullying in colleges. Right here the bully is positioned as an exterior contributor to the chance, however the issue is positioned with particular person pupils and colleges. Nevertheless, some coverage discussions acknowledge the broader societal influences and expectations that form bullying, and suggestions to include anti-hate approaches in LGBT+ suicide prevention methods.

‘Suicide as a instrument of rhetoric’

Important progress in LGBT+ rights was revamped the ten years in query, together with laws to permit homosexual and bisexual males who have been convicted beneath legal guidelines that criminalised homosexuality to be ‘pardoned’ and equal marriage. Debates over marriage reforms surfaced hostile, homophobic views. LGBT+ rights supporters argued that such expressions contributed to wider social stigma and prejudice, which may in flip have an effect on LGBT+ suicidal misery. The authors say that this argument acted as a ‘rhetorical warning machine’.

The analysis of parliamentary debates and policies in the UK showed that LGBT+ suicide is pathologised, but also seen as a byproduct of hate activities towards the LGBT+ community.

The evaluation of parliamentary debates and UK insurance policies confirmed that LGBT+ suicide is pathologised, but additionally seen as a byproduct of hate actions.


Of their analysis, the authors found a ‘dichotomised illustration’ of the ‘drawback’ of LGBT+ folks and suicide the place it’s ‘…both internally attributable to LGBT+ people, or as externally attributable to perpetrators on queerphobic hate’.

They name for a higher nuance in LGBT+ suicide prevention coverage making and argue that:

To raised perceive, and certainly forestall LGBT+ suicide…internalising, psychological approaches and externalising, social approaches to understanding LGBT+ suicide have to be introduced into dialogue with each other.

Lastly, they conclude that:

…coverage makers and politicians should work collectively to offer help for people experiencing suicidal misery by means of the availability of group and medical resourcing.

Policy makers and politicians must address the wider social and systemic environmental influences on the suicidality of non-heterosexual and gender diverse people.

Coverage makers and politicians should deal with the broader systemic influences on the suicidality of non-heterosexual and gender various folks.

Strengths and limitations

The authors don’t define strengths and limitations within the paper. Undoubtably, the analysis reveals some necessary findings on the character of coverage making and the way dichotomous understandings of LGBT+ suicide could make for coverage disjuncts which have critical sensible implications.

The investigation is grounded within the broader historic context the place ‘perceptions of sinfulness, criminality and pathology’ have influenced social and political responses to non-heterosexual and gender various individuals who expertise psychological misery. The authors current a vital coverage evaluation methodology that could possibly be used to look at parliamentary debates and insurance policies regarding different teams who’ve been prey to comparable malign influences. For instance, if it isn’t already being completed, maybe an analogous research on the consequences and penalties of racialisation, racism and ‘neo-colonial constructions of psychological sickness’ (King, 2016) in psychological well being coverage must also be undertaken.

The analysis addresses ‘LGBT+’ suicide. The phenomenon of ‘lumping’ collectively various folks has been highlighted for sexualities analysis, with researchers advising that this dangers masking the varied wants and experiences inside an outlined group, creating gaps within the proof (Kneale et al, 2019). The paper would have benefitted from dialogue of this. A few of the terminology used may have been extra clearly outlined. For instance, the time period ‘queerphobia’ might not be acquainted to readers. Additional rationalization of this overarching time period and the way it encompasses various experiences of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia would have been useful, maybe in relation to ‘lumping’.

The clear definition of terminology used to describe diverse experience in the paper would be helpful to the readers and the interpretation of the analysis.

The clear definition of terminology used to explain various expertise within the paper could be useful to the readers and the interpretation of the evaluation.

Implications for observe and coverage

The analysis findings have direct implications for LGBT+ suicide prevention coverage and observe. The authors are clear that the 2 contrasting methods through which LGBT+ suicide is conceived ought to be introduced collectively so extra nuanced and efficient approaches are taken to prevention, and the complexities of LGBT+ folks’s suicidal misery extra totally thought-about.

In response to the research, analysis proof on the effectiveness of LGBT+ suicide prevention methods and companies seems to be missing. Enhancements in information assortment observe have to be made, however because the authors’ critique of ‘quantification’ attests, figures are only one type of proof. If we’re to return to a fuller understanding of LGBT+ suicide and suicide prevention, we additionally want to attract on experiential and observe proof.

A wealth of data is held by suicide survivors, LGBT+ psychological well being organisations and specialist practitioners who ought to immediately take part in making the insurance policies that concern them. Participatory social coverage determines that ‘the place folks want…help…they’ve an actual say in that course of, as a substitute of getting another person’s ethical, ideological, financial or social options imposed on them’ (Beresford & Carr, 2018 p.1). Marzetti and colleagues supply a case research in why such an method is urgently wanted.

The study highlights the clear need for suicide prevention strategies tailored for sexually diverse populations within clinical services and wider social policies.

The research highlights the clear want for suicide prevention methods tailor-made for sexually various populations inside medical companies and social insurance policies.

Assertion of pursuits



Main paper

Marzetti, H., Chandler, A., Jordan, A., & Oaten, A. (2023) The politics of LGBT+ suicide and suicide prevention within the UK: threat, accountability and rhetoric, Tradition, Well being & Sexuality, DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2023.2172614

Different references

Bacchi, C. & Goodwin, S. (2016) Poststructural Coverage Analyses – Information to Apply, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Beresford, P. & Carr, S. (2018) Introduction, in Beresford, P. & Carr, S. (eds.) Social Coverage First Hand Bristol: Coverage Press pp. 1-11.

Cameron, C. (2018) Social coverage and incapacity, in Beresford, P. & Carr, S. (eds.) Social Coverage First Hand, Bristol: Coverage Press, pp. 51-61.

King, C. (2016) Whiteness in psychiatry: the insanity of European misdiagnoses, in Russo, J. & Sweeney, A. (eds) Looking for a Rose Backyard, Monmouth: PCCS Books, pp.69-76.

Kneale, D. et al (2019) Conducting sexualities analysis: an overview of emergent points and case research from ten Wellcome-funded initiatives, [version 1; peer review: 3 approved]. Wellcome Open Res 2019, 4 (137),

Scott, P. (1958) Psychiatric features of the Wolfenden Report: 1, The British Journal of Delinquency, 9 (1) pp.20-32.


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