This webinar will give a brief introduction to LGBTI people and communities in the context of mental health.
All Australians have the right to non-judgemental, culturally appropriate mental health care, however Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people are overrepresented in mental health statistics of anxiety, depression as well as having increased risk of self-harm and suicide.
These mental health outcomes are a direct result of their experiences of stigma, discrimination, prejudice and abuse on the basis of their identity that LGBIT experience in their families, culture and community – and these experiences are also significant barriers for LGBTI people to access mental health services and receive equitable services and achieve equal health outcomes.
However, many services do not feel confident in supporting LGBTI people and so endeavour to ‘treat everyone the same’ though unfortunately as this strategy does not take into account the specific lived experiences of LGBTI people that impact on their mental health, the mental health of LGBTI people does not benefit from this framework.
Sally Morris is the National MindOUT! Project Coordinator, the first national LGBTI mental health and suicide prevention project in Australia that has been delivered by the Alliance since March 2011. Previously to facilitating MindOUT! nationally, Sally was the MindOUT! coordinator in Queensland with the Queensland AIDS Council. With a background in human services and experience in the mental health and LGBTI sectors Sally has also been the Client Support Coordinator at QuAC, Coordinator of Open Doors Youth Service where she was also the Suicide Prevention Project Officer. With a commitment to volunteerism she has also been a long time telephone counsellor with GLWA and Co-Chair of the Lesbian Health Action Group, and has recently founded Wendybird, a community group providing spaces for LGBTI people to experience meaning connection. Sally is currently undertaking a Masters of Development Practice (Community Development) through the University of Queensland to further her goal of creating opportunities for LGBTI people to find a sense of belonging through building community.