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LGBTIA

LGBTIQA+ specific mental health support

Acknowledgment

Whilst we are committed to providing up-to-date information, Finding North recognises that the LGBTIQA+ acronym may undergo changes over time.

We acknowledge that preferred language and terminology are constantly evolving in order to reflect the diverse experiences and identities within the community. Although Finding North will strive to align with the most current and preferred terminology being used within the LGBTIQA+ community, we recognise that our content may not always align and welcome feedback and insights from the community.

Overview

It’s normal for your mental health to change during your life, different experiences, challenges, and how you cope with stress can all affect your mental well-being. Unfortunately, discrimination, bullying, and stigma are still common within the LGBTIQA+ community and can have a significant impact on your emotional and mental health.

In the 2020-21 National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, it was reported that

  • 44.7% of people who identified as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or who used a different term such as Asexual, Pansexual or Queer had a 12-month Anxiety disorder and
  • 30.0% people who identified as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or who used a different term such as Asexual, Pansexual or Queer had a 12-month Affective disorder.

Looking after your mental health is important but it can be difficult if you are experiencing homophobia, stigma, and discrimination.

Supporting yourself

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing is important. If you haven’t always considered this a priority or are looking for ways to to improve your mental health here are a few things to consider:

You Are Not Alone:

This is probably one of the most important things you need to remember. Although at times you may feel alone or as if no one understands what you are going through you are not alone and many have walked this path.

Make time for you:

It is important to continue to make time to prioritise the things you enjoy in life.

Physical Health and Nutrition:

Good nutrition and adequate exercise both play important roles in looking after your physical and mental health. Eating well not only improves your energy levels but assists in regulating your mood and can help in the prevention and treatment of physical and mental health issues. If you aren’t sure what foods are best for your body a nutritionist or dietician can be helpful. You can also access specialist services through private practice or by GP referral.

Sleep:

Sleep is important and provides your body and mind with a chance to recharge and reset. Sleep is linked to physical and mental health and is there for an important component of self care.

Socialise and Stay Connected:

Coming out can have an impact on your personal relationships. Stay connected to those family members and friends who are supportive. Nurture the positive relationships and give people time to adjust if they need it.

Be Kind to Yourself:

If you are exposed to homophobia, transphobia, stigma or discrimination this can have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing. If you begin to notice that the way you think of yourself or speak to yourself has become negative take a moment, reset. Changing the way you speak to yourself can assist with stress, improve your health and general wellbeing.

Identify any patterns of negative self talk, surround yourself with people who make you feel good and be kind to yourself.

Get Connected:

Connecting with others who are like-minded or going through a similar experience can be helpful. Whether it is through a social group or peer mentoring program, being around and talking with peers can provide you with comfort and guidance. If you aren’t sure where to start QLife provides free peer support as well as a national service directory. QLife’s counselling services are anonymous and available in all States and Territories across Australia.

In the below video from QLife, three individuals share their experiences of coming out as members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

 

Supporting another person

For some people coming out can bring a sense of relief and for others it can be quite a difficult experience. If someone you know identifies as being part of the LGBTIQA+ community here are a few ways that you can be supportive.

  • Use the correct pronouns: show respect by making sure you are using the correct pronoun when speaking to or referring to your family member or friend.
  • Listen to the person. Give them the time they need to share with you and be supportive. It can be difficult for some people to share their identity due to fear of discrimination or rejection. Thank them for trusting you.
  • Don’t question their truth. Questioning someone’s identity is offensive. This is not about you, accept the person for who they are and be respectful.
  • See them as a person. Although gender and sexuality are important parts of their identity there is more to a person. See each person for all the wonderful things that make them who they are.
  • Offer your support and keep ask if they would like you to keep the information private. You may be the only person they have told so it is important to respect their privacy.
  • If you notice that they are having difficulty with other family members, friends or have experienced bullying or discrimination be there for them. Talk to them about LGBTIQA+ inclusive support services.

How we can help

If you or someone you know is in crisis

If you are worried you may harm yourself or someone else, or need immediate help for someone else in this situation:

Please call 000

If you are in distress

Other helplines

Please select a state you live in

Suicide Call Back Service

Available 24/7

1800RESPECT (Domestic Violence Support Line)

Available 24/7

13YARN (First Nations Peoples Crisis Support Line)

Available 24/7

Finding North - Information & Referral Service (Partner organisations)

Available Weekdays 9am-5pm

Defence All Hours Support Line

Available 24/7

MensLine Australia

Available 24/7

Access Mental Health Line

Available 24/7

Canberra Head to Health Centre

Hours vary

NSW Hospital and Health Services

Available 24/7

Penrith Head to Health

From 1pm

NT Mental Health Line

Available 24/7

Darwin Head To Health

Mon to Fri 10 am -10 pm. Weekends 12 pm to 8 pm

Health Direct

Available 24/7

1300 MH Call

Available 24/7

Townsville Head to Health

Weekdays 10am -10pm and Weekends 12pm -10pm

SA Mental Health Triage

Available 24/7

Urgent Mental Health Care Centre (UMHCC)

Available 24/7

Access Mental Health- Helpline Triage

9am - 10pm

Launceston Head to Health

9sm – 5pm Monday to Friday

NURSE-ON-CALL

Available 24/7

Victoria Psychiatric Triage

Available 24/7

Geelong Head to Health

Mon to Fri 9am–9pm. Weekends and Public Holidays 1pm – 6pm

Rurallink -Mental Health Emergency Response Line

Weeknights 4:30pm-8:30pm / 24hrs on Weekends and Public Holidays

Peel -Mental Health Emergency Response Line

Available 24/7

TTY - Mental Health Emergency Response Line

Available 24/7

Metro - Mental Health Emergency Response Line

Available 24/7

Perth Midland head to health

10am - 8pm

Please select a state you live in
Service Options
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