Funding injection for LGBTIQ mental health ahead of marriage equality vote

Published Tuesday, 29 August, 2017 at 08:50 AM

Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Queensland Health is supporting a ‘no-harm’ campaign to protect the mental health of LGBTIQ community members during the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said an extra $338,000 in funding would provide assistance for four non-government organisations (NGOs) to manage any unexpected increase in demand for services.

“We’re providing a one-off funding boost to Lifeline, Kids Helpline, Queensland AIDS Council and Open Doors Youth Service to help them deal with this extra demand until the end of November, once the survey is complete,” Mr Dick said.

“This is our ‘no-harm’ campaign.”

Mr Dick said there was no doubt the survey would impact the mental health and wellbeing of some vulnerable LGBTIQ people.

“The LGBTIQ community told the Turnbull Government that this plebiscite presents a very real potential to expose harmful and homophobic comment at a personal and community-wide level.

“While the Prime Minister has ignored those concerns, the Palaszczuk Government is responding, providing these funds to boost NGO services,” he said.

“It’s vital that people are able to access these organisations throughout the campaign, and in the weeks following the outcome.

“We want any person struggling with the debate to know they can reach out and seek support.”

The Queensland Director for the Equality Campaign, Peter Black, said the Equality Campaign welcomes the additional support from the Queensland Government.

"Discrimination has an impact on mental health and wellbeing, and any efforts made to remove discrimination – as well as supporting LGBTIQ people's mental health and wellbeing during this process – is welcome,” Mr Black said.

"Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ people at a time when their lives are under intense public scrutiny is vital.

"LGBTIQ Australians are incredibly resilient and it is important during this time, especially, to look out for one another.”

Mr Black said the Equality Campaign was based on respectful conversations around equality.

"The campaign will continue to advocate in a positive and respectful way until the relationships of all Australians are offered the same dignity and respect," he said.

“We can’t do everything but we can do this.”


Media Contact: Catherine Palmer, 0424 823 424