LGBTTIQA+ / Rainbow Mental Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention




Standing Strong: Mental health, suicide prevention and mental wellbeing for LGBTTIQA+/Rainbow people Workshop Series

Designed specifically for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, takatāpui, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual and other expressions of diverse sexuality and gender. These practical workshops give insights into why we as LGBTTIQA+/Rainbow people experience more mental health issues, provides some practical suggestions about what we can to do to enhance our wellbeing and strategies to look after ourselves and others in our communities who are experiencing suicidal thinking, emotional distress, depression or anxiety.

These workshops are delivered on request.  Please contact Barry Taylor to discuss the possibility of having any of the workshops being delivered in your organisation or community. The workshop can be adapted to develop a tailor-made training programme to meet your community’s or organisation’s specific needs. The workshops can be delivered at weekends.


Workshop 1:    Rainbow Blues

While depression and anxiety are generally becoming a more common experience in people’s lives, for LGBTTIQA+/Rainbow people the rates of depression and anxiety are significantly higher.

For those experiencing the depression, their friends and partners, it can be a bewildering and frustrating time. This workshop provides some insights into understanding depression and anxiety, why it seems to affect more LGBTTIQA+/Rainbow people; helpful hints on living with depression and how to support someone who is depressed or has an anxiety disorder.

  • Increase your knowledge about depression and anxiety and how it impacts on a person’s well-being and their ability to function

  • Understand depression and anxiety from our lived experience of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, takatāpui, transgender, intersex, queer or asexual.

  • Be equipped with strategies on how to live with depression or anxiety

  • Feel more confident and competent in supporting someone who is depressed or has anxiety


Topics covered:

  • Sad, Miserable or Depressed: What’s the Difference

  • Understanding Depression and Anxiety

  • Living our Rainbow lives and the impacts on our mental wellbeing

  • Depressed but not defeated: Strategies for living with depression

  • Being there:  Supporting those we care about who live with depression


Target Audience:         LGBTTIQA+/Rainbow people who are living with depression and/or anxiety, along with their partners, friends, family and support people.

Workshop Length:     Minimum of three hours.

Workshop 2:    Our Lives Matter: LGBTTIQA+ Action for preventing and responding to suicide in our communities

The suicide of someone has a devastating impact for all those connected the person.  It is known that for LGBTTIQA+/Rainbow people, suicide is far more common than in the broader population. While challenging there are things that we in the LGBTTIQA+/Rainbow communities can do.


This workshop addresses what can be done at the community and individual levels to prevent suicide in our communities. By attending the workshop, you will gain a greater understanding of the factors that lead to poor mental health and suicide for LGBTTIQA+/Rainbow people and learn skills that will help you to:

  • Be more comfortable in discussing suicide or being with someone who is experiencing suicidal thinking

  • Respond confidently to someone who is experiencing major psychological distress or suicidal thinking

  • Feel safe and more competent when supporting someone who is suicidal

  • Mobilise community action to increase enhance wellbeing in our communities

  • Respond to those in our communities bereaved by suicide and preventing suicide contagion


Topics covered:

  • Suicide in LGBTTIQA+ people – What is it and how is it explained

  • Not all the same:  understanding age, gender and cultural differences in suicide

  • Self-Harm or Suicidal behaviour – What’s the Difference?

  • Boozed and Sad – The influence of alcohol and depression in suicidal ideation and behaviour

  • Stuffing up but not stuffing off:

  • Enhancing people’s resiliency so to navigate through difficult times.

  • The roles of compassion, forgiveness and problem solving for people in crisis

  • Look: What to look for if you are concerned about someone

  • Ask: How to bring up the topic of suicide in a safe way

  • Act: What to do if you are concerned about someone’s well-being or safety

  • Care: Supporting those we care about who are suicidal

  • Who do you call?  Further support for those are in suicidal crisis


Target Audience:      LGBTTIQA+/Rainbow community members and leaders, friends, family and support people.


Workshop Length:     The workshop is best delivered as a daylong workshop but can be delivered in a minimum of three hours.

Workshop 3:    Proud and Thriving: Wellbeing for LGBTTIQA+ people

A two day participatory workshop for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, takatāpui, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual and other expressions of diverse sexuality and gender.

Our journeys to wellbeing as LGBTTIQA+ people can often take many different paths. Like many others who have experienced marginalization or discrimination, we have had to navigate through ignorance, prejudice and at times hatred or violence in order for us to be true to ourselves. These experiences can have a long term impact on how we see and value ourselves, the relationships we have and our overall physical, emotional and mental health. The over-representation of LGBTTIQA+ people in poor mental health and suicide statistics indicates that there is still much to be done to improve our wellbeing and resilience at both the individual and community levels.

Drawing on the a holistic model of wellbeing and using a critique of heteronormative models of wellbeing, the workshop provides an opportunity to discuss, share and learn about how we can incorporate wellbeing practices in our lives. Using narrative techniques we will make the links between our experience and internalizing of factors such as homo/trans phobia and how we experience perceptions of ourselves now and its impact on our wellbeing and the relationships in our lives.

Workshop covers:

  • A strength-based inclusive vision for wellbeing

  • Wellbeing for us as LGBTTIQA+ people – What do we need to maximise our wellbeing?

  • Proud and thriving – our journeys of coming into our true selves

  • Intersections of our lives – where sexuality, gender identity, culture, age and ableness meet

  • The journey to self-loving – the impact of internalised homo/trans phobia

  • Fearful no more – Navigating the world of homo / transphobia, personal and institutional discrimination

  • Victims no more – claiming our self determination

  • We are all just a little bit fucked – living and celebrating our flaws and living with others and cherishing their flaws – steps to healthy relationships

  • Minority stress – what is it and what we can do about it

  • Trauma: understanding the impact of trauma in our lives and strategies to respond to the trauma

    • Coming out related trauma

    • Hate speech and hate crime

    • Violence

    • Abuse

  • The Wheel of Wellbeing – Incorporating wellbeing practices into our daily life

Target Audience:        LGBTTIQA+/Rainbow community members and leaders, friends, family and support people.

Workshop Length:     The workshop is best delivered as a 2 day workshop to allow the most for group participation and engaging in the process but can be delivered in a day.




Safe and Inclusive: Working with the LGBTTIQA+/Rainbow people Workshops

Equal Not the Same: LGBTTIQA+ inclusive Practice

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, takatāpui, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual and people of other diverse sexual and gender identifications (LGBTTIQA+) people are over represented in the statistics for people living with a mental illness, an addiction or have died by suicide.  Given there are no dedicated LGBTTIQA+ mental health or addictions services in Aotearoa, it is essential that mainstream services, mental health NGO organisations, student health and counselling services and private counselling practitioners ensure that their services and programmes are LGBTTIQA+ inclusive.


LGBTTIQA+ people report that their experience of mainstream services is that they are not inclusive and operate mainly from a heteronormative worldview.  They often felt vulnerable in disclosing issues around their sexuality or gender and often had to educate the clinicians and counsellors about sexuality or gender diversity.


A common view held within services is that there is no need for targeted programmes for specific populations as the service “treats everyone the same.”  This workshop will define clearly what is meant by inclusive practice for LGBTTIQA+ people and put forward the rationale as to why mainstream services need to consider their responsiveness to LGBTTIQA+ population. Participants will apply the priniciples inclusiveness from the perspectives of organisational inclusiveness and clinical practice.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Have a working knowledge of the principles of cultural competence and cultural safety as applied to LGBTTIQA+ persons

  • Assess current service delivery against key principles, criteria and recommended actions for LGBTTIQA+ inclusiveness to their service provision

  • Identify opportunities and challenges for improving LGBTTIQA+ inclusive practice in their organisation

  • Be familiarised with the considered practice wisdom in delivering clinical and support services to LGBTTIQA+ people

Topics covered:

  • Unpacking LGBTTIA+ – Sexuality, Sex and Gender

  • Intersections not collisions - Intersectionality of gender, sexuality, culture and religion

  • Mad, Bad or Sad – The determinants that contribute to positive and poor mental health outcomes in LGBTTIQA+ people

  • Equal but not the Same – What do we mean by Inclusive Practice 

  • LGBTTIQA+ Cultural Competency and Safety – What does it look like?

  • How inclusive is Inclusive – Principles of Inclusive Practice

  • Auditing your service or clinical practice for LGBTTIQA+ inclusive practices

  • Strategies for implementing inclusive practice into organisations and clinical practice

  • Inclusive Practitioners - LGBTTIQA+ practice wisdom

Previous participants' feedback

This workshop has been delivered to mental health and addiction services across Australia. Evaluations shows that attendance is of benefit for workers in mental health, addiction, primary health, social and community services, education, youth sectors.

“The clinical examples using the broader sociological lens made the course so much more relevant and of use to all clinicians. Will recommend it to all my colleagues and hope the rest of my team attends"     Psychiatrist

“This course should be part of all mental health nurses training. Informative, relevant and valuable"     Mental Health Nurse

“Now realise how much I failed to appreciate the significance of certain life events of rainbow clients I have worked with”      Addiction Worker

"The highly skilled presenter with a wealth of knowledge and experience meant I could be confident in the content"     Clinical Psychologist


The Suicide Closet: Effective suicide interventions for LGBTTIQA+ people

Depth your knowledge and skills in responding safely and inclusively to LGBTTIQA+ people experiencing severe psychological distress or at risk of self harm or suicidal behaviour.  Hear from an award winning suicidoligist who lead MindOUT: LGBTI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Project in Australia. MindOUT was a world first where the government had funded a national response to LGBTTIA+ mental health and suicide prevention as part of a national suicide prevention strategy.

Studies have shown that for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual and people of other diverse sexual and gender identifications (LGBTTIQA+) self harm and the thinking about suicide; attempting suicide and dying by suicide is far more common than in the broader population. This workshop provides insights of how the lived experience of LGBTTIA+ people, internalised stigma, hetero and trans normative and a theoretical analysis of the social and psychological determinants that influence suicide risk in LGBTTIQA+ people and what workers need to consider when undertaking a suicide risk assessment, providing crisis intervention or providing long-term support or therapy/counselling with LGBTTIQA+ people experiencing suicidal ideation or behavior.

​Learning Outcomes:

Workshop participants will be:

  • Knowledgeable of the social and psychological determinants that contribute to suicide risk and behaviour in LGBTTIQA+ people

  • Familiar with specific LGBTTIQA+ risk and protective factors to consider in a suicide risk assessment

  • Conscious of LGBTTIQA+ specific dynamics that may affect crisis interventions and longer-term support or clinical interventions with LGBTTIQA+ people experiencing suicidal ideation or behaviour

  • Cognisant of the grief issues and suicide contagion risk for LGBTTIQA+ people bereaved by suicide

​Topics covered:

  • Suicide in LGBTTIQA+ people – What is it and how is it explained

  • The role of social determinants in contributing to poor mental health outcomes and suicidality in LGBTTIQA+ people

  •  Not all the same -  understanding age, gender and cultural differences in LGBTTIQA+ suicide

  • Risk and Protective Factors for suicide in LGBTTIQA+ people – Additional considerations when undertaking suicide risk assessment in LGBTTIQA+ people

  • Intervention and support - Issues to consider when working with LGBTTIQA+ people experiencing suicidal ideation or behaviour.

  • Suicide contagion in LGBTTIQA+ communities


Practice Wisdom: Working therapeutically with LGBTTIQA+ clients

This workshop is based on the Working Therapeutically with LGBTTIQA+ Clients: A Practice Wisdom Resource developed by practitioners with extensive experience and deep knowledge about working with LGBTTIQA+ people and communities.


Practice Wisdom is an experiential one-day training that translates expertise to a counselling room context, focusing on being a trusted collaborator, survival and resilience, minority stress, intersectionality, and concepts of power in therapeutic work.


Learning Objectives

  • Improving your role as a therapist supporting LGBTTIQA+ people

  • Understanding the complexity of living as an LGBTTIQA+ person in modern Aotearoa/New Zealand

  • The intersection of culture and/or religion and being LGBTTIQA+

  • Introduction to the power of naming experiences and being an effective ally

  • Talking about intimacy, bodies and sex

  • Engaging effectively with transgender clients

  • Engaging effectively with clients with an intersex variation.


Target Audience:         Mental health professionals, psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors who engage in counselling or therapeutic work with LGBTTIQA+ clients.

Workshop Length:        1 day  (9am – 4.30pm)

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Me mahi tahi tautou mo te oranga o te katoa   -  Work together for the wellbeing of everyone


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