Let’s take a quick look at the receipts. According to LGBTI Health LGBTIQ+ young people aged between 16 and 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts, while transgender people aged 18 and over are nearly eleven times more likely. The list goes on, with 41% of gay or bisexual people over 16 meeting the criteria for a mental health disorder in the past 12 months, and 37.1% of LGBTIQ+ people over 16 reporting treatment for a mental disorder in the past three years.
This is why it’s so important that we take the time to look after ourselves and each other.
We are not alone. We are loved. We are supported.
The vast majority of Australians value and respect us, our families and our relationships as equal. We are gorgeous, and glorious and together we will link arms and survive whatever is thrown our way both now and in the future.
For anyone who may, understandably, be struggling to cope at the moment — or just need a friendly someone to chat with — there is help available for you. Like, right now. Help is only ever a phone call or message away. You don’t have to go through this alone.
Here is a list of some of the services readily available to members of the Australian LGBTIQ+ community.
Twenty10’s specialised staff and volunteers offer personalised support, information and referrals to LGBTIQA+ people of all ages, their families, professionals and communities across NSW. Their groups and services are all FREE, confidential and respectful. You can call them in Metro areas of NSW on 02 8594 9555 or in rural areas (free call) on 1800 65 2010. Alternatively, there are also social support groups and youth counselling options available.
QLife is Australia’s first nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for LGBTIQ+ people, offering peer supported telephone and web based services between 3:00pm and midnight every day of the week, all around the country.
Maybe you’re not LGBTIQ+, or maybe you are but simply feel more comfortable contacting an organisation which isn’t queer-specific. No matter what’s going on, Lifeline is always one call away.
Lifeline is available 24/7 and can be reached on 13 11 14 or on their online chat service.
The wonderful folks over at ACON pride themselves on helping all LGBTI people, but particularlythose with HIV, take control of their mental health. They offer a number of counselling services and a care coordination program for people struggling with a complex spectrum of needs. If you feel like you’d benefit from a confidential one-on-one counselling session, appointments are available between 6pm and 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Fees for these appointments are negotiated according to your circumstances, with priority given to people on low incomes or with limited options.