Lifeline is encouraging LGBTIQA+ communities to reach out for help

With Pride Month celebrations underway across the world, Lifeline WA is reminding Western Australia’s LGBTQIA+ community to reach out for help when they need it.

Lifeline WA said research shows members of the LGBTIQA+ community are more likely to struggle with depression, suicide and anxiety.

Digital crisis supporter Nathan said he has been privileged to be on the end of the phone – via call or text – when people in crisis take the brave step to reach out.

Nathan said in the past there were few services in the community to help people who were questioning their sexuality or their gender.

Now 32, he’s proud to be able to use his lived experience to give back to his community and support LGBTQIA+ youth who reach out through Lifeline WA’s digital service.

“There are a lot of people who identify as LGBTQIA+ who feel safe and included and able to reach out to the service, which is amazing,” Nathan said.

“I identify as a gay man, but when I was a young person, I didn’t know of any services similar to Lifeline, let alone anything in the community.

“It’s good to know that Lifeline WA, amongst other services, is available for young people that are questioning their sexuality or their gender and might be in a difficult space due to that.”

Nathan said that for many young people, particularly in the LGBTQIA+ community, remaining anonymous helped people to be more open and honest with how they were feeling and open up about feelings of anxiety, depression, and suicide.

“Opening up the safe space to have that conversation about suicide in a gentle way is really important because in the community and in society, as we know, there has been and there still is a big stigma around suicide and mental health.

“It’s incredibly powerful to be able to open up that conversation and allow people to talk about it in a way where they don’t feel judged, where they feel that they can be open and honest. And that helps to lower distress.”

Lifeline WA CEO Lorna MacGregor said research had shown that many people within the LGBTIQA+ community were overrepresented in statistics for anxiety, depression and suicide.

“We know that the issues impacting people within the LGBTIQA+ community are complex and varying, and unique to each individual person,” Ms MacGregor said.

“At Lifeline WA, we want to spread the message that no one is alone, and help is always only a phone call, text or chat away.”

The digital service, which was launched in November, was made possible in WA thanks to the incredible support of Lifeline Australia and The Channel 7 Telethon Trust.

Lifeline’s 24/7 telephone crisis support service is available on 13 11 14.

Do you need some support?

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

QLife: 1800 184 527 / (Webchat 3pm – midnight) QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGED[email protected]
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 /

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 /

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