The Andrews Labor Government is providing more support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Victorians in response to an increase in the number of people seeking help since the marriage equality survey has begun.
The Labor Government has asked Victorian Aids Council and Drummond St services to lead the delivery of the $500,000 additional support for mental health services and LGBTI organisations to keep up with heightened demands.
Both organisations will work together to increase mental health counselling, resources and peer support activities for LGBTI Victorians.
The services will be delivered through a range of organisations including community health centres, Switchboard, Joy FM and rainbow family groups to support people across the state including young people and families.
In addition to this package, the Government will provide $50,000 to the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACViC) to support Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) program partners and local providers to provide increased peer support activities across the state for young people.
The Government has also opened the next round of HEY grants totalling $100,000. Delivered by YACVic, the grants fund mental health promotion and community engagement activities for LGBTI young people in Victoria aged between 14 and 25 years.
The HEY program support services like Minus 18, an online platform for LGBTI youth. Their site has now reached more than 500,000 people, and a new, upgraded website is set to be launched thanks to their HEY grant.
The website has been accessed more than 12 million times by more than half a million Australians and the new web platform to be launched in October 2017 will include a centralised resource hub for schools and service providers.
These investments are in addition to the $500,000 in support announced in June this year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Equality Martin Foley
“We’ve seen more members of the LGBTI community than ever before reach out for help – so we have a responsibility to ensure support is there when people need it.”
“No one wanted this hurtful postal survey – but our message to LGBTI Victorians is we are standing by you during this difficult time.”
“I want to thank all of our support services, including their many dedicated staff and volunteers for their hard work during this period.”