It is hard enough moving through adolescence and early adulthood at the best of times. Hormonal changes, growth spurts, social stressors, constant bombardment of ideas about who we should be from those around us and on social media are just some of the things we have to find ways to navigate. This task is made even more difficult by experiences of discrimination gender and/or sexually diverse face and other experiences of oppression / marginalisation.
According to recent reports by the LGBTIQA Health Alliance, Australian LGBTIQA+ youths are twice likely to have symptoms of mental health disorders and transgender people aged 25 and under are nearly 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with depression in their lifetime.
Another study found that 75% of Australian LGBTIQA+ school going young people experienced bullying or discrimination at school. In addition, 81% of LGBTIQA+ students believe that their schools do not support them and that their teachers are not doing enough to stop LGBTIQA+ bullying. As a result, schools have been stepping up efforts to make their premises safer for every child. These efforts include training and awareness to staff members and students on various topics of sexual and gender diversity, implementing strict anti-bullying policies, and renovating infrastructures to make it all gender friendly.
But more needs to be done due to the severity of the problem and increasing access to mental health services is one of them. Currently, LGBTIQA+ youths have limited access to mental health support services for many reasons. Common reasons include unfriendly psychiatrists or psychologists, lack of gender affirmation, safety, confidentiality, and sensitivity, or just because mental health services are too expensive to afford. Access to timely and affordable mental health services can help to prevent self-harm and navigate through poor mental health outcomes to live a fulfilling life by being their true self. We aim to do just that.
You can read more about some of the principles that guide our approach below: