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Not all suicide risk factors are the same.


Become familiar with the additional risk factors that need to be considered in undertaking an assessment of suicide of risk with LGBTTIQA+ people.

Learn how the impact of discrimination, heteronormative assumptions, unconscious bias, internalised homo/bi/trans phobia heightens suicide risk and can impact on the therapeutic relationship.

Develop your theoretical analysis of the social and psychological determinants that influence suicide risk in LGBTTIQA+ people


Gain insights of what counsellors need to consider when providing crisis intervention or longer-term counselling or support with LGBTTIQA+ people experiencing suicidal ideation or behaviour

The Suicide Closet: Effective suicide interventions for LGBTTIQA+ people


Studies have shown that for members of the rainbow communities, thinking about suicide; attempting suicide and dying by suicide is far more common than in the broader population. There are identified additional risk factors which need to be considered when undertaking a risk assessment with an LGBTTIQA+ person. Yet, many clinicians still fail to ask about gender or sexuality nor take into account the significance of these factors in assessing suicide risk.  

This workshop provides participants with a comprehensive overview of the risk factors and effective strategies for engaging and supporting sexual or gender diverse people who are suicidal.

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 when undertaking a suicide risk assessment.

  • Familiar with specific dynamics for LGBTTIQA+ people that counsellors and therapists need to take into account when engaged in crisis or clinical interventions or providing longer-term support to LGBTTIQA+ people experiencing suicidal ideation or behaviour.

  • Cognisant of the specific grief issues for LGBTTIQA+ people bereaved by suicide as well as the increased potential risk of suicide contagion.


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

  • Unconscious bias and heteronormative assumptions and the therapeutic relationship

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

  • Suicide contagion in LGBTTIQA+ communities

Feedback from other participants

“The easy to understand explanations of trans and intersex was most helpful and shed light on the experiences of groups that I knew little about.”

Clinical Psychologist

“I wish there had been a course like this when I first started working in mental health.  I have learnt so much.”

Social Worker

“Your openness and style of presentation created a safe environment to ask questions and for honest group discussion.”

Mental Health Nurse

“Leaving even more determined to ensure my school is a safe place for our rainbow students."

School Counsellor


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:        2 days  (9am – 4.30pm)

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