Mental health matters and we cannot stress more. Yet, many LGBTIQA+ youths have limited access to mental health services due to unfriendly therapists, lack of confidentiality and sensitivity, and longer waitlist. For those in need, access to timely mental health services can be decisive and sometimes, lifesaving. It is for this reason that services like Rainbow Community House matters. We aim to provide a safe and confidential space for sexually-and-gender diverse youths aged 12 to 25 to express their true selves and conquer the world!
We are a family and friend inclusive service in that we seek to support (where appropriate) the connections and relationships that are important to young people. We often work with young people individually as well as with family members or other people that are important in their lives whom they feel safe with and supported by. We do so to ensure that what we do best fits an individual and their supportive circles so that they can be themselves and take positive strides every day.
Whether we work with families or not depends largely on a young person’s situation and how this might fit with their wishes and what is important to them. ‘Family’ means different things to different people; for some this means biological family and for others this means ‘family of choice’ which might include friends or other trusted and safe people.
In some situations, a young person may prefer not to come to counselling however family members may wish to access support to think about how best to support the young person as they navigate important changes or transitions in their life. This is something we can help family members with.
In some instances, the young person may accept an invitation at a later date either to come to family therapy and/or engage in individual counselling sessions. It is up to the young person to decide about this however we can help them work out whether accessing support with us would be a good fit for them.
No! We all face different hardships in our lives for similar and very different reasons. Sometimes there are ideas we may come up against that try and convince us that we should be able to cope with these hardships alone or we shouldn’t talk about them. At Rainbow Community House we are much less interested in ideas about what might be wrong with you and more interested in what has happened to you. We will explore with you what might be getting in the way of the way you’d like life to be. We’re also interested in understanding the different ways you have been responding to struggles you may find yourself in and about what has kept you going in the face of these struggles. We see the problems people face as the problem. Not the person as the problem.
You don’t need to have one, but we do see LGBTIQA+ youths who have a Mental Health Care Plan. Having a Mental Health Care Plan could be beneficial as it can reduce the costs and help you have more access to mental health service providers.
Yes we do!
Once you have obtained a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP, you will be entitled to up to 6 sessions at first.
Your psychologist will inform your GP once the first six sessions have been used, and more sessions can be issued by your GP.
We want as many people as possible to be able to access our services so we do our best to try and make our services as affordable as possible. This is why we offer both free and sliding scale payment sessions. Sliding scale payments means the fee you pay us is based on the income you (or your parents/carers) are earning and these can vary between $50 and $120 per session.
We have a limited number of free sessions we can offer each week. Young people that can pay for a session will be booked into fee-paying sessions to keep as many free sessions open for those who cannot afford to pay for counselling. We will talk you through payment options available when you get in touch to arrange your first visit with us.
Therapy is tailored to meet individual needs and aspirations. There are no minimum or maximum number of sessions however support provided is regularly reviewed with clients. If you are on a Mental Health Care Plan, due to COVID-19, you would be able to have 20 therapy sessions in a fiscal year. Please refer to the Mental Health Care Plan flyer.
Stand up for your rights! You have the right to:
- Be treated with respect and dignity
- Feel safe
- Non-judgemental attitudes
- Access your case notes and medical records
- Receive high quality care
- Be fully informed about counselling options and included in decisions and choices about your care.
- Ask us any question you like!
- To make a complaint – we welcome your feedback and will always do our best to address any concerns you have.
- To respect others
- To help us make Rainbow Community House a safe place for others – which means:
- To tell us if you move accommodation or your contact details change so we can keep in touch with you
- To call and let us know if you are unable to make an appointment
- To respect the privacy, confidentiality and safety of other young people and their families who use the service at Rainbow Community House
- It is important to us to know if we are getting it right. We are always interested in hearing the views (compliments and complaints) of children and young people who use our service as well as their families / those who care about them and other members of the community. This might be related to something we have done or have not done.
- Complaints and compliments are very useful to us as they help us to learn and to improve our services. If we have done something you are not happy about we will do our best to make changes and to resolve the problem.
- It is easy to make your views known to Rainbow Community House. Simply talk to any Rainbow Community House staff member. Or you can make your views known in writing via post or email to any Rainbow Community House staff member. If that person is unable to resolve your concerns, they will pass them onto a Director or a senior staff member who will investigate and seek to resolve your concerns. You can obtain more information about the Rainbow Community House complaints process from leaflets in our waiting room or you can ask a member of our staff.
We take safety seriously. If ever we are concerned about your safety or someone else is at risk we will work with you to create safety. Sometimes in order to do this we might need to let others know about the safety concerns but we will keep you informed about this.
Working with others:
In order to best support you, we like to work closely with other people who are involved in your care. This could be family or friends or other agencies. But we only do this with your knowledge and permission. Access to your file or information from your file to other mental health services will only be provided if they are directly involved in your care.
We want to make sure we are working with you in line with your hopes, goals and aspirations. Sometimes we might ask you to complete a form to help us understand how you are going and how you think our work together is progressing. This can help us to plan next steps in our work together and make any changes that might help you to achieve your goals.
At Rainbow Community House we work as a team. This means our counsellors / therapists regularly meet to share ideas and discuss different aspects of your care. This helps us to support you the best we can. However this information remains confidential and will not be shared with other people or agencies without your permission.
Thank you so much for your interest. It is through our supporters that we can work to increase the access to mental health services for LGBTIQA+ youths. You can fundraise for us. To do so, please share us your proposal and we will provide you with necessary resources that you could use.
We are a DRG registered charity and the donations that you make will be tax-deductible.