Victoria launches new phone line service for LGBTIQ+ community

On Monday 28 September, Switchboard Victoria is launching a new LGBTIQA+ specialist helpline for LGBTIQA+ people; The Rainbow Door.

The Rainbow Door will provide assessment and short-term case management and link LGBTIQA+ people to services to support with issues including suicidal thoughts, Family and Intimate partner violence (including elder abuse0, housing, Alcohol and Other drugs, legal issues, social isolation and health.

The Rainbow Door will assist LGBTIQA+ people to get the supports we need and provide assistance and advocacy to navigate the complexity of a multi-facetted service system. Rainbow Door is run by LGBTIQA+ peers workers.

Joe Ball, CEO of Switchboard Victoria said it had become clear that more support services were needed in Victoria.

“What we know at Switchboard from our 29 years of service to the LGBTIQA+ Victorian community is that LGBTIQA+ people when in crisis, or distress want to talk to a peer who understands.”

“The Rainbow Door is a safe landing place for LGBTIQA+ people, their friends, family and the professionals who want to support us. It is a space to have the difficult conversations and to find the pathways LGBTIQA+ people need towards the services that can help”.

The Rainbow Door is a COVID 19 LGBTIQA+ response for Victorians who have been under some of the strictest COVID 19 restrictions in the world since July 2020. Ball had this to say about what Switchboard staff have been observing throughout the Switchboard services:

“In Victoria as a result COVID 19 and the lockdown at Switchboard we have seen a significant increase in Family violence, including the effects of young people who have lost income and been
forced out of their rental homes and back into family homes where their gender and sexuality is not accepted. The Rainbow Door will be a service for LGBTIQA+ of all ages experiencing family violence.”

“As the provider of Victoria’s only LGBTIQA+ older persons visiting program we have heard firsthand about the experiences of LGBTIQA+ older people, we have heard stories from those older people we support about increased loneliness and deep depression of our elders. The Rainbow Door is an accessible service for our elders where we can connect people of all ages to appropriate services”.

Switchboard Victoria is the current Victorian partner and provider of the National LGBTIQA+ helpline Qlife. The Rainbow Door will be Switchboard’s 2nd helpline. The Rainbow Door will be a complimentary service to Qlife, with Victorian LGBTIQA+ people through the combined services of Qlife and the Rainbow Door having a helpline response provided by Switchboard Victoria from 10am – midnight everyday.

The Rainbow Door will operate from 10am – 6pm, 7 days a week (including Christmas day, Boxing day, New Years Day and Easter Sunday) Call: 1800 729 367 Text: 0480 017 246 Email: [email protected]

Source: Media Release


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