Healthway grants to provide support for LGBTIQ mental health

Heathway will provide over $140,000 in new grants that will be of benefit to Western Australia’s LGBTIQ population.

The new grants will support research and programs that aim to prevent suicide and the onset of anxiety and depression.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the grants were an example of effective targeted spending that would make a measurable difference to people’s lives.

Murdoch University has received a $70,050 Healthway grant for a mental health research project which aims to understand the mental health needs of those who identify as both Aboriginal and LGBTQI, and work with mental health services to better respond to their needs.

Aboriginal and LGBTQI people face some of the highest rates of suicide compared to any other population groups in Australia.

While the Telethon Kids Institute will utilise an additional $70,050 grant from Healthway to adapt an online interactive game that shares key skills which aim to help prevent the onset of depression in transgender young people.

Nearly 75 per cent of transgender youth in Australia have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and about half of them have attempted suicide.

The app, which was designed at the University of Auckland, allows young people to log on to an interactive game which also teaches strategies for managing mental health.  The app uses proven cognitive behaviour therapy techniques in a youth friendly delivery.

The accompanying website in the New Zealand version also allows people to take a quiz which allows them to identify mental health concerns, and has links to other mental health resources.

Last year the Telethon Kids Institute released a landmark report into suicide and mental health among transgender youth. The Trans Pathways report is the largest ever survey of trans youth in Australia, and the first to also include their parents and caregivers.

Announcing the funding Health Minister Roger Cook said the new programs were an example of how the McGowan government we funding innovative and cost-effective targeted programs.

“Evidence shows the LGBTQI community experience higher rates of mental health issues than the general population because of the perceived stigma.” Cook said.

“The university research project will look at the experiences and diverse needs of Aboriginal LGBTQI people, and work with mental health service providers to help them better respond to the mental health needs of this community.

“It is important that innovative and cost-effective tools and services are available to the LGBTQI community including young transgender people, to help them overcome barriers they face and improve their quality of life and mental wellbeing.

“These programs – funded by Healthway – will build on the work the McGowan Government has underway supporting both LGBTQI and Aboriginal communities in mental health and wellbeing, including a two-year $282,000 pilot project to help prevent suicide among LGBTQI youth in regional areas and $18.2 million to secure the future of the State-wide Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Services.” Cook said.

Graeme Watson, Image: SPARX App University of Auckland. 

Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyondblue: and

QLife: and
QLife are a counselling and referral service for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.

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