Warning: This post is about suicide which can be a difficult topic.

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day – an internationally-observced day to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention around the world. According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, “one in every 100 deaths worldwide is the result of suicide.” 

Because of stigma, discrimination, and lack of family and community support, LGBTQ Canadians have a much higher risk for suicide:

  • The Canadian Mental Health Association reports that LGBTQ people face “Higher rates of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and phobic disorders, suicidality, self-harm, and substance use among LGBT people.”
  • Additionally, Egale reports that “LGBTQ youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.”
  • Huffington Post reports that “… more than 75 per cent of completed suicides in Canada are made by men, and men still tend to use mental health services at a significantly lower rate than women. Evidence suggests that certain male demographics have particularly high rates of mental health issues. One of these is gay men.”
  • A BMC Public Health article reports that around 50 per cent of gay men had experienced suicidal ideation. This is more than six times higher than the reported rates for heterosexual men. 

If you are struggling with your mental health or having thoughts of suicide, you CAN get help. 

Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Resources:

For 2SLGBTQ+ people in crisis:

  • If you are in crisis you can connect with Here 24/7 at 1.844.437.3247. 
  • For ongoing counselling, here in Waterloo Region, the OK2BME program at KW Counselling Services provides specialized counselling services to 2SLGBTQ+ youth at no cost. SPECTRUM has established the Chrysalis Mental Health Fund which helps to subsidize the cost of OK2BME counselling for 2SLGBTQ+ adults in our community. To get started with OK2BME counselling you can complete their online intake form or call 519.884.0000.
  • For those who are able to pay for counselling service, there are many local private practitioners. You can find contact information at Psychology Today. Those who are specialists in 2SLGBTQ+ issues will list it in their profiles.
  • Within our limited capacity, SPECTRUM works to help local 2SLGBTQ+ people find community and an increased sense of belonging. Be sure to check out our events calendar to find peer support groups, drop-ins, and various social groups you can join.

Additional Educational Resources and Ways to Support 2SLGBTQ+ mental health

  • Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council has put together a page on the risk factors and warning signs of suicidality, here. Their website also has many other resources to help promote well-being and self-care and handle stress.
  • Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council will be livestreaming a World Suicide Prevention Day ceremony on September 10th at 6pm on their Facebook page
  • If you would like to donate to SPECTRUM’s Chrysalis Mental Health Fund to help someone access counselling services you can do so here.


crisis support, suicide

SPECTRUM offers a safe place where LGBTQ2+ individuals can be themselves and find community and supports.