While most LGBTI Australians live healthy, happy lives, a disproportionate number experience worse mental health challenges than their non-LGBTI peers. Lesbian, gay and bisexual Australians are twice as likely to have a high or very high level of psychological distress as their heterosexual peers (18.2% v. 9.2%). 31% of homosexual/bisexual Australians experience anxiety disorders and 19% experience affective disorders. Mental health challenges are more common than you might think, and it’s important to remember that people can and do recover a good life.
Get to know your mental health
Issues that particularly affect LGBTI Australians, like homophobia, isolation, bullying and discrimination, can take a toll, as well as past experiences, current events or relationships. When feelings of sadness, constant stress or confusing health symptoms stop you from enjoying life and the things your normally do, don’t just ignore it and hope it gets better – help is available.
It’s never been more important to get to know your mental health. Recognising when something is wrong is an important part of caring for yourself and helps you take charge of your mental health and wellbeing. When something just seems off, or your thoughts, feeling or behaviour feel extra challenging, take action and ask for help. Acknowledging something isn’t right is the first step towards recovery.
What do I do now? It’s easier than you think
Don’t be afraid to ask for support, no matter what it is you’re going through. At least 45% of us will experience mental ill health during our lives, so you are not alone. To assist the people whose lives are severely affected by mental health conditions or physical disabilities that are enduring, the NDIS is a new scheme that offers funding and customised supports. The NDIS works with you, your family and carers to develop a personalised plan of support services. Get the supports you need to live the life you want.
Richmond Wellbeing offers a safe and accepting environment where all people are welcome to work towards their personal recovery goals. An important part of recovery is strong connections with people. Pridefest and the annual Pride Parade is a fun way to get involved in the LGBTI community, an event our Community and Outreach team members has participated in, alongside our clients, for several years. Acceptance and supporting the unique needs of our diverse community is important to us. As MindOut Champions, and having auspiced and completed GRAI’s LGBTI Inclusive Practice training, all our services, including supported accommodation, provide personal support specific to your individual experiences.
WA Rainbow Tick Community of Practice and Accreditation Support
Community of Practice
Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly, through a process of collective learning.
In a first for WA, Richmond Wellbeing has commenced the WA ‘Rainbow Tick’ Community of Practice – bringing a range of mental health, community health, alcohol and other drug (AOD) and disability service providers together to build capacity, cohesion and responsiveness to LGBTI inclusive practices in the community services sector in Western Australia.
For further details on the program and membership download the WA Rainbow Tick Community of Practice brochure here.
Rainbow Tick Readiness Program
Rainbow Tick accreditation aims to assist organisations to move from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) aware to LGBTI inclusive while reassuring LGBTI consumers and staff that an organisation is responsive to, understanding and are aware of their needs.
As the first Rainbow Tick accredited organization in WA, Richmond Wellbeing’s Rainbow Tick Readiness Program supports organisations to understand and implement LGBTI safe and inclusive service delivery to achieve national recognition for those that meet the accreditation standards.
Rainbow Tick Readiness Virtual Audit
Preparing for Rainbow Tick accreditation is frequently a mad dash against the clock to bring together the final set of materials. Important elements can get overlooked in the rush to prepare.
Following its own Rainbow Tick accreditation, the first in WA, Richmond Wellbeing has developed a virtual audit program to ‘test’ any organisation in a simulated audit process, in order to identify any gaps in systems and workplace documentation. Once audited, we can work with you to develop and implement a schedule for improvement ahead of the genuine Rainbow Tick audit.
Want to know more? Download our Rainbow Tick Readiness Virtual Audit brochure now.