Sex and Gender Education (SAGE) Australia)
Life Over Suicide Project and Research
Participant Information Sheet
Welcome to SAGE’s Life Over Suicide Project and Research. You may be intending to be part of the published stories project about people from sex and/or gender diverse (SGD) groups, who have been suicidal and then recovered. The other option is that you may simply be part of the research project. If you are part of the published stories, your data automatically becomes part of the suicide research project.
Sex and Gender Education (SAGE) Australia is a campaigning collective of individuals that was formed in 2001 in Australia. We engage and consult with and lobby government, engage in legal action bringing court cases, all with the sole purpose of elevating the civil rights and dignity of people from sex and/or gender diverse groups.
Sex and/or gender diverse people are made up from many differing groups including people who are intersex, transexed, transsexual, transgendered, androgynous, without sex and gender identity, cross- dressers and people with sex and gender culturally specific differences.
The published stories project is about raising the public profile of the issues around suicide and suicidal thoughts experienced by people from sex and/or gender diverse groups in Australia. We are also particularly interested in why and how you did not commit suicide. What changed for you?
You can contribute from 18 years old onwards or from 14 years onwards with a guardian’s written permission. You do have to be a citizen, resident of Australia or lived in Australia for a minimum of 10 years.
Participating in the stories project and research is unpaid and voluntary. No one carrying out the research is paid except for supervision and editing services by external independent professionals.
This private project and research is funded by the expenses for the project being paid by O’Keefe and Fox Industries Pty Ltd (an Australian private limited company)). The stories and research projects are not-for-profit ventures. O’Keefe and Fox Industries Pty Ltd have funded similar projects.
This is qualitative research seeking to identify why people from Sex and/or gender diverse groups become suicidal and what may be the reasons they do not commit suicide. For a lot of research, you can be anonymous, but for this project we need you to publicly identify yourself. SAGE is a campaign group for the rights and dignity of people from sex and/or gender diverse groups, so for this project and the study, we are asking people to be public. We believe it gives the project more authenticity and validity because the project can show that it involves real people.
Historically progress is made in campaigning by people identifying themselves publicly: people such as Radclyffe Hall, Roberta Cowell, Georgina Somerset, Stephen Whittle, Christine Burns, Tiger Devore, Jamison Green, Caroline Cossey, April Ashley, Mark Rees, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Carol Spencer, Tony Briffa, Norrie May-Welby and many more.
We use a method of research called organic enquiry from a feminist transpersonal humanistic perspective. We at SAGE do not believe we are less than other human beings. The journey out of suicide for people from sex and/or gender diverse groups is a valid transformational journey of finding our own power and self-worth. For this project and research, we believe, being anonymous would be dehumanising and being public is more humanising.
Your name will be public in the project and research but your contact details are protected by data protection and we will not be sharing them with any other body.
We are interested in your story as you tell it in your own words. If you cannot write well, we can arrange for you to receive a telephone call and we will take your information by telephone, type it out and send it to you for your approval or you can ask for changes.
We pride ourselves at SAGE for not pushing you into describing yourself in ways that you do not agree with. We would see that as appropriation of your experience. We know that some people with sex and gender differences will identify other than the previous labels mentioned above, so we are open to hearing what your experience is and how you describe yourself.
We specifically have not associated with a university or a government department. Research at universities is prone to academic distortion and the academia of the university can seek to influence research to reflect the academic position, causing data or analysis distortion. Research associated with governments is forced to reflect the position of the government of the day. Those within power may shut down or withdraw funds from research projects, even in some cases bury the research. Therefore, by being an independent project and research it is easy not to have the information around the project or research distorted by outside influences.
We endeavour to carry out the research within standard ethical guidelines and research industry standards.
We cannot help if you are presently suicidal and you would not be suitable for the project or research.
When carrying out projects like this and research there must be clear boundaries observed that stop distortion of the research. On every page of the Life Over Suicide Stories at the bottom of the page are suggestions for you to get help. You would need to seek the immediate help of a local mental health professional.
In you participating in the project and research we emphasise that we are seeking people who have already passed beyond the suicide phase, changed your mental perspective and decided to live. If, however, being involved in the project or research triggers you and you move towards suicide we recommend you would need to seek the immediate help of a local mental health professional. You can contact us and we will help you connect with local mental health services.
I, Tracie O’Keefe (Member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (College of Psychotherapy) Australian Society of Sex Educators, Researchers and Therapists) NSW), with help from other SAGE members and vetted outside help, am carrying out the research. I am trained in research and am a mental health professional with over 45 years’ experience of working with people from sex and/or gender diverse groups. My Mental Health supervisor for the project is Nadia Hjij RN, MA, Mental Health Nurse (Clinical Nurse Specialist), Bachelor of Health Sciences in Naturopathy, Masters in Nursing, Masters in Mental Health Nursing, Masters in Public and International Health.
The research will be made public so all the names of participants will be public. Research is not offered to a professional journal until it is complete and we are only in the process of carrying out the project and research at the moment.
Putting this information from the project and research into the public arena will help inform the public, health professionals and policy makers around the issues and circumstances that induce suicidal thoughts in people from sex and/or gender diverse groups.
When you submit information it goes into our SAGE database. After you have submitted the comments and story, you sign a release form that will be sent to you to say you allow the data to be used and published. At that point the data becomes the property of the researcher and you may not legally republish anywhere at any time. We do this so the project and research is protected. The story will be published immediately but the research may take a few years as it takes many hundreds of hours of work.
If you give an interview by telephone, that auditory recording will never be published and will be destroyed a month after the original interview. Your personal contact details are stored in the SAGE database and you receive updates and information from SAGE until such time as you no longer wish to be part of the collective.
What you need to do next:
Go to the top of the project page and follow the instructions to contact us.
We are happy to respond to any further questions you may have, simply contact us by email: sageaustraliateam [at] gmail [dotcom]