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LGBTQIA+ support and services

We all have the right to access quality services that cater to our needs. We also have the right to inclusive and culturally safe services (.gov.au 2019).

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LGBTQIA support and services

Mental health support

Many LGBT+ people have experienced ill mental health at some point in their lives. This can be due to the long-lasting impacts of abuse and discrimination (RUOK 2023).

If you are struggling with your mental health, you are not alone. There are organisations you can safely turn to for information and support.

  • QLife – call 1800 184 527, or chat online (from 3pm to midnight daily). Peer support and referral for LGBT+ people.

  • ACON – support, companionship and advice for older members of the LGBT+ community (50+) in NSW.

Many LGBT+ people have experienced ill mental health at some point in their lives. This can be due to the long-lasting impacts of abuse and discrimination (RUOK 2023).

If you are struggling with your mental health, you are not alone. There are organisations you can safely turn to for information and support.

  • QLife – call 1800 184 527, or chat online (from 3pm to midnight daily). Peer support and referral for LGBT+ people.

  • ACON – support, companionship and advice for older members of the LGBT+ community (50+) in NSW.
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  • Lifeline - call 13 11 14, 24/7, text 0477 131 114, or chat online.
    LifeLine’s crisis support service is available 24/7. Anyone in Australia can speak to a trained Crisis Supporter any time of the day or night.

  • Beyond Blue - call 1300 22 4636 (24/7), or chat online.
    Beyond Blue is a mental health support service that connects you to a person to talk to on those days when things seem too much, or something isn’t quite right.

  • Suicide Call Back Service - call 1300 659 467, or chat online.
    The Suicide Call Back Service offers free professional 24/7 telephone counselling support.
  • Lifeline - call 13 11 14, 24/7, text 0477 131 114, or chat online.
    LifeLine’s crisis support service is available 24/7. Anyone in Australia can speak to a trained Crisis Supporter any time of the day or night.

  • Beyond Blue - call 1300 22 4636 (24/7), or chat online.
    Beyond Blue is a mental health support service that connects you to a person to talk to on those days when things seem too much, or something isn’t quite right.

  • Suicide Call Back Service - call 1300 659 467, or chat online.
    The Suicide Call Back Service offers free professional 24/7 telephone counselling support.
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Peer support

Sharing personal stories can help. The services and supports section of LGBTIQ+ Health Australia provides a list of services and supports for older LGBT+ people and for people providing care to older LGBT+ people. The list includes links and contact information for:

  • Visitor schemes
  • Mentoring and support programs
  • Advocacy and community groups
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Intersex people
  • People living with HIV

Sharing personal stories can help. The services and supports section of LGBTIQ+ Health Australia provides a list of services and supports for older LGBT+ people and for people providing care to older LGBT+ people. The list includes links and contact information for:

  • Visitor schemes
  • Mentoring and support programs
  • Advocacy and community groups
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Intersex people
  • People living with HIV
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Finding inclusive services

Silver Rainbow is a project designed to improve the experiences of LGBT+ people as they age. Silver Rainbow suggests that you look for these things when finding a service provider:

  • Brochures, websites promotional material that mention LGBT+
  • A diversity policy and forms that reflect who you are and your relationships (for example, have more options than male or female, married or defacto)
  • Health and support workers who make you feel safe and welcomed when you meet with them
  • Health and support workers who use inclusive language

Silver Rainbow is a project designed to improve the experiences of LGBT+ people as they age. Silver Rainbow suggests that you look for these things when finding a service provider:

  • Brochures, websites promotional material that mention LGBT+
  • A diversity policy and forms that reflect who you are and your relationships (for example, have more options than male or female, married or defacto)
  • Health and support workers who make you feel safe and welcomed when you meet with them
  • Health and support workers who use inclusive language
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You can also find out if the service has:

  • Rainbow Tick accreditation for providing safe, inclusive practice, and service delivery for LGBT+ people
  • Inclusive policies for celebrating the uniqueness and diversity of all people
  • Ongoing training regarding the experiences and needs of LGBT+ people
  • An LGBT+ client group or staff advisory group
  • An LGBT+ champion or evidence of participating in recent LGBT+ events
  • LGBT+ people already using the service
  • Any LGBT+ people accessing the service that you can talk to

You can also find out if the service has:

  • Rainbow Tick accreditation for providing safe, inclusive practice, and service delivery for LGBT+ people
  • Inclusive policies for celebrating the uniqueness and diversity of all people
  • Ongoing training regarding the experiences and needs of LGBT+ people
  • An LGBT+ client group or staff advisory group
  • An LGBT+ champion or evidence of participating in recent LGBT+ events
  • LGBT+ people already using the service
  • Any LGBT+ people accessing the service that you can talk to
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Need some help? Call free today on 1800 951 971

How to be a good LGBTQIA+ ally

For many people, being an ally starts with friends and members of their own family. It can be as simple as asking someone about the kind of support they need. To be a good ally you can:

  1. Learn about the key differences between gender, sex and sexuality. REACHOUT explains the difference between gender, sex and sexuality in an easy-to-understand way.
  2. Talk to people who identify as LGBT+ and get an understanding of the issues that are important to the LGBTQIA+ community.
  3. Be a visible supporter. Call out homophobia, transphobia or queerphobia wherever you see it. You can also attend events, and support businesses or charities run by LGBT+ people.

For many people, being an ally starts with friends and members of their own family. It can be as simple as asking someone about the kind of support they need. To be a good ally you can:

  1. Learn about the key differences between gender, sex and sexuality. REACHOUT explains the difference between gender, sex and sexuality in an easy-to-understand way.
  2. Talk to people who identify as LGBT+ and get an understanding of the issues that are important to the LGBTQIA+ community.
  3. Be a visible supporter. Call out homophobia, transphobia or queerphobia wherever you see it. You can also attend events, and support businesses or charities run by LGBT+ people.
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Support those around you

The good thing about being an ally for one group of people is that it can open your eyes to be an ally for everyone.

People don’t fit into just one box. For example, intersectionality is a term used to describe all the different identities a person has. If someone who identifies as LGBT+ is also a person of colour, or also lives with a disability, they might be discriminated against because of each of these identities (REACHOUT 2023).

Listening is the most important thing. Listen and grow in your understanding and knowledge. This will help a lot to make your community a safer and more affirming place for everyone.

The good thing about being an ally for one group of people is that it can open your eyes to be an ally for everyone.

People don’t fit into just one box. For example, intersectionality is a term used to describe all the different identities a person has. If someone who identifies as LGBT+ is also a person of colour, or also lives with a disability, they might be discriminated against because of each of these identities (REACHOUT 2023).

Listening is the most important thing. Listen and grow in your understanding and knowledge. This will help a lot to make your community a safer and more affirming place for everyone.

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LGBTQIA support and services

References

  1. RUOK, LGBTIQ+ conversation guide and resources (2023). https://www.ruok.org.au/lgbtiq
  2. REACHOUT (2023), What is an LGBTQIA+ ally, and how can I be a good one? https://au.reachout.com/articles/what-is-an-lgbtqia-ally-and-how-can-i-be-a-good-one

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