Why support is important

Growing up feeling isolated, discriminated against or merely ‘tolerated’ is a reality for many people. It affects their lives, often profoundly. Our support can change that.

Stories of support

Why this campaign is important

What the research tells us

People who are LGBTIQ+ are more likely to experience discrimination, violence and bullying in the home, workplace, and community than the rest of the population. These experiences affect people’s physical and mental health. For some, the impact is lifelong and devastating.

Recent research provides insights on the health and wellbeing of people who are LGBTIQ+ in our communities, including:

In Melbourne’s north, west and central suburbs, about 3% of the population are from LGBTIQ+ communities.

The hard to hear facts

The effects of stigma and discrimination are often underestimated. The hard to hear facts from LGBTIQ+ Health Australia include knowing that young LGBTIQ+ people are 5 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. Transgender people aged 18 and over are nearly 11 times more likely to.

Many LGBTIQ+ people feel society has become more inclusive, but there are still areas of life where they feel unequal, isolated or unsafe as this data from Private Lives 3 (2020) shows:

  • more than 30% of LGBTIQ+ people were verbally abused about their sexual orientation or gender identity in the previous 12 months
  • 25% were harassed for the same reasons
  • 10% were sexually assaulted.

These 2020 findings were largely unchanged from the same survey in 2011.

Many LGBTIQ+ people feel uncomfortable, as the findings in A Closer Look at Private Lives 2 show:

  • 44% hid their sexuality or gender in public
  • 33% hid sexuality or gender when accessing services
  • 38% hid sexuality or gender at work.

Suicide and mental health

LGBTIQ+ people are more likely to experience a mental health disorder than the general population, specifically:

  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are twice as likely to have mental health disorder symptoms.
  • LGBT people are twice as likely to be diagnosed and treated for mental health disorders.

(Data from the 2020 Snapshot Of Mental Health And Suicide Prevention Statistics For LGBTI People.)

We also know that people who are LGBTIQ+ are more likely to attempt suicide:

  • LGBTIQ+ people aged 16-27 are 5 times more likely to attempt suicide.
  • Transgender people aged 18 and over are nearly 11 times more likely.
  • People with an intersex variation aged 16 and over are nearly 6 times more likely.

(Data from LGBTIQ+ Health Australia.)

Getting professional help and support

Feeling isolated, unwelcome or unsafe is not okay. No one should have to feel that way because of their gender or sexual identity. If you, or someone you know is experiencing this, it’s important to get support.

Urgent support

The following services are available 24/7:

LGBTIQ+ specific services

Local mental health services

  • Visit HeadtoHelp or call 1800 595 212 for free mental health advice and connections to the right support services for you. Open 8:30am-5pm Monday-Friday, except public holidays.
  • Use North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network’s online resource to find local services for the LGBTIQ+ community, young people, men, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

LGBTIQ+ Family Violence

WithRespect provides resources, tips and advice for LGBTIQ+ people on having and maintaining healthy relationships. It also provides support for LGBTIQ+ people of all ages and their families experiencing difficulty in their relationships, including family violence.

Police supporting LGBTIQ+ communities

Victoria Police can assist people who are LGBTIQ+ by providing discrete, non-judgmental advice and assistance in the reporting of crimes. Find out about more about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer liaison officers (GLLOs) across Victoria.

Some local LGBTIQ+ friendly GPs

Other health clinics

  • Doctor List: The doctors and other health professionals on this Australian list have been recommended by lesbian and bi women patients as clinicians they feel comfortable with.
  • Prahran Market Clinic: (03) 9514 0888
  • Pronto. A fast, free and confidential rapid HIV testing service for gay men.

Local community health services

Get involved and show your support

Many of us want to live in a diverse inclusive society but are often silent in our support. By speaking up, we can make it happen. We can change and save lives.

Show my support