ACON (Aids Council of NSW) is NSW’s leading health organisation specialising in community health, inclusion and HIV responses for people of diverse sexualities and genders. Established in 1985, ACON works to create opportunities for people in the LGBTQ+ communities to live their healthiest lives. In 2022, ACON partnered with Headjam to co-create a digital Suicide Prevention Hub with resources tailored specifically for the LGBTQ+ community.Read Hide the full case study
Each year, approximately 3,000 Australians die by suicide, making it the primary cause of death for people aged 15 to 49 years (health.gov.au, 2022). In 2022, 965 individuals ended their lives in NSW alone (aihw.gov.au, 2023).
The rates of mental illness, mental distress, suicidality, planning, and suicide attempts are higher among LGBTQ+ individuals than among the general Australian population. Around 1 in 20 LGBTQ+ people will have attempted suicide in the last 12 months and around 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ people will have attempted suicide in their lifetime (LGBTQ+ Health Australia, 2021).
To tackle this issue, ACON secured funding from the New South Wales Ministry of Health as part of the Towards Zero Suicides initiative. This program aims to reduce suicide rates across the entire state. ACON's primary focus is to cater to the distinct needs of the LGBTQ+ community by actively participating in the collaborative design and implementation of a Suicide Prevention Hub.
Help reduce suicide rates and suicide attempts in sexuality and gender-diverse communities in NSW by providing evidence-based resources and support.
LGBTQ+ individuals with intersecting marginalised lived experiences and the broader LGBTQ+ members of the community, and relatives and friends of LGBTQ+ individuals who need suicide intervention support.
Support when you need it.
Desired Consumer Response
I'm so glad I found that page, it saved my/my loved one's life.
This project was co-designed with ACON’s community, drawing insights from peer-reviewed literature, program evaluations, and consultations with individuals with lived experience of suicidality. Through these consultations, we discovered what to avoid – words such as hope and resilience, fractured imagery, and clinical white backgrounds – and what to embrace – connection, community, pride, gradient colours, and illustration. The site aimed to convey strength and a deeply accepting tone.
We wanted a name that emphasised the strength of the community while remaining non-judgmental. We chose the name “Here”, which signifies that regardless of where individuals are in their personal journeys, one thing remains constant – we are glad they are here.
We designed a logo that featured bold letters, symbolising the community's strength and right to take up space. The letters are intentionally positioned close together, reflecting the support and togetherness within the LGBTQ+ community. We opted for rounded corners in the logo design to create a softer and friendlier aesthetic.
We curated a colour palette that evokes both strength and comfort, utilising teals and purples. We incorporated a deep earthy brown and soft cream colour to lend warmth and visual appeal. Gradients of purples and teals were introduced to add an element of flexibility, fluidity, and movement, which aligns with the project's objectives.
To address sensitive topics effectively, we chose illustration as our preferred style of imagery. By using shapes, animals, and objects to represent human experiences, we ensured inclusivity and relatability. The talented queer non-binary illustrator, Sebastian Berto, brought our vision to life, adding a human touch to the predominantly text-based website. We purposely limited the colour palette to avoid competing with the gradient palette, allowing the illustrations to shine.
Website design and development:
We designed the website with particular consideration for individuals experiencing distress or seeking support.
Accessibility was a top priority, and we implemented features that enable users to make various adjustments based on their needs. This included the ability to change text size, contrast, and use dyslexia-friendly fonts. To accommodate individual preferences, we offered both light and dark modes, ensuring a personalised browsing experience. Additionally, we implemented a filter system that allows users to search for specific tags, simplifying the process of finding relevant services and resources. A ‘Quick Exit’ button offers a fast and discreet method to protect user privacy, particularly in situations where unexpected interruptions or potential intrusions may arise.
Community engagement and feedback are critical to the ongoing success of this Hub. A feedback and suggestions link at the bottom of each page encourages users to actively participate and contribute to the ongoing development of the platform.
This is the first resource of its kind for the LGBTQ+ community in NSW. Providing a dedicated platform has been well received. ACON consulted with community about the new hub and gathered valuable qualitative data from users who could choose to remain anonymous if they wished. Overall, the feedback received from the community was very positive. Of the users who provided feedback, 80% expressed their gratitude towards ACON for providing an essential resource to the community. Furthermore, 10% of users commented positively on the website's usability and design, while the remaining 10% provided suggestions on improvements.
Providing suicide prevention support for the LGBTQ+ community
Processes used in this project
Brand identity, Brand strategy, Logo design, Illustrations, Digital marketing, Social media marketing, Creative thinking, Co-design, User experience design, User interface design, Website design, Website development, Marketing, Branding, Graphic design, Project management, Web and digital
I cannot overstate how thrilled I am to see Here become available, such a valuable and vital resource for the community.