We’re continuing our conversations about the findings of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. These findings will reshape mental health services, not just in Victoria but potentially across Australia.
The focus of this episode is on the recommendations for reform specific to LGBTQ+ mental health services.
For the LGBTQ+ community, there’s “diversity within diversity” – also called intersectionality – for example First Nations queer people, queer people with a disability, and those from culturally diverse backgrounds. To provide genuine help, services need to understand and support this diversity.
Reform is even more pressing with the COVID-19 pandemic further highlighting the urgent need for a redesign of Victoria’s mental health system that is co-designed by the people who use it.
We invited Karen Field, CEO Drummond Street Services, which also incorporates Stepfamilies Australia and Queerspace and Carolyn Gillespie, Director of Clinical Services at Thorne Harbour Health (formerly the Victorian AIDS Council) to talk about what reform means for mental health care for the LGBTIQ+ community.
Services like Drummond Street Services and Thorne Harbour Health see firsthand that LGBTIQ+ people experience higher rates than the general population of mental health issues like anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation, and that the mental health service system currently in place is not always a system that’s safe for them.
In fact, Karen Field says that during the past 12 months there was a trebling of the acute mental health and suicidal ideation presentations at Drummond Street Services compared to the previous financial year – an experience that has been seen across LGBTQ+ health care providers.
The co-host for this episode is Karenza Louis-Smith, CEO of ermha365.
For more info on LGBTQ+ services:
Queerspace - supports focused on relationships, families, parenting and young people
Thorne Harbour Health - a community-controlled organisation, governed by its members, and working for sex, sexuality and gender diverse communities.
Rainbow Door - a free service for the LGBTQ+ community, you do not need a referral to use this service.
ermha365 provides a range of mental health services designed to help people experiencing mental health challenges to thrive in the community.