Our Award-Winning Diverse City Program

13 Nov 2023

QLD Mental Health Week Achievement Awards 

On Friday the 13th of October our headspace by Stride team were presented with the award, recognising our promotion of social inclusion and for demonstrating out commitment to improving the life of Queenslanders with identify as LGBTQIAP+ and live with a mental illness. The Governor, Honourable Dr Jeannette Young, attended and spoke at the awards this year.

Diverse City is a program co-designed to improve young people’s mental health within the LGBTQIAP+ community. It is a 6-8 week program where young people discuss topics, engage with peers, and build confidence. Since 2018, it has supported over 1000 young people across QLD. 

Congratulations to the staff and young people who were part of the co-design and staff who facilitate our Diverse City programs across the headspace by Stride centres each week.  

Our headspace South-East Queensland centres Meadowbrook, Ipswich, Nundah and Woolloongabba run the diverse city program each school term. There are options for young people to continue in other groups, like ‘Diverse City+’, social groups following completing the structured group below.

This award acknowledges that great impact that we have had on young LGBTQIA+ young people.

About Diverse City

Diverse City is a program created by Stride's headspace centres, that provides support to young people who identify as LGBTQIAP+ or with the Queer Community. This can include those that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer or any other sexual orientation and/or gender. 

The program assists young people aged 12 - 25 by offering a safe place to connect with peers, discuss LGBTQIAP+ issues or concerns and learn about mental health and general wellbeing.  

It is also a safe space to celebrate who they are.

No alt text provided for this image

In June 2021, 24%* of young people accessing a headspace centre in Australia identified as LGBTIQA+, with this number increasing to 35%* of the young people at all of Stride's headspace centres.
(*headspace year in review annual report FY 2020)

Rewind back to 2018, and the understanding that LGBTQIAP+ young people already saw our headspace centres as a safe place for them to be themselves is what prompted us to create Diverse City and the vital input of the young people that co-designed the program is what makes it so very unique and successful for the past 4 years.

The Diverse City program was created over a 1-day workshop held in 2018 with a group of 25 young people and headspace staff that identify as LGBTIQA+ or identified as community allies. The young people consisted of consumers and Youth Reference Group members, from five headspace centres across South East Queensland.

No alt text provided for this image

The workshop gave young people the opportunity to provide their valuable views and first-hand life-experience to develop and design the program.

The focus of the workshop was to establish the most important issues faced by young people which were identified as:

  • Mental Health - 63.8% of LGBTQIAP+ young people aged 14-21 have been diagnosed with a mental health condition and LGBTI young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to die by suicide when compared to the general population (2021 LGBTIQ+ Health Australia Statistics)
  • Connection to and understanding of the LGBTQIAP+ community
  • Alcohol and drug use within the LGBTQIAP+ community
  • Healthy relationships (both romantic and platonic)

When asked what kinds of support were needed for young people that identify, the group told us that they wanted a group program that was a safe space for LGBTQIAP+ young people to talk about everyday things and learn life skills, while acknowledging the additional barriers they face just being part of the community

No alt text provided for this image

Since the program was established 4 years ago, we've had incredible feedback (verbal and written feedback from participants) and now offer it in 7 of our headspace centres giving a sense of hopefulness to young people who may be struggling with their identity or mental health and reinforcing that Stride's headspace centres are a safe space for LGBTQIAP+ young people

Diverse City shows continuing success, with young people attending the program and then choosing to come back and attend  Diverse City +, a social group that gathers regularly for young people who have completed the Diverse City program. 

Diverse City helps young people feel safe, supported and accepted, less isolated and able to make friends within their own community.


Contact headspace Meadowbrook to find out how you can join Diverse City

Email: headspace.Meadowbrook@stride.com.au

Call: (07) 3804 4200