#mindthefacts called on the Australian Parliament to legislate marriage equality by the end of 2017 and we commend them on this achievement.
We would also like to congratulate both houses of parliament on passing this legislation so quickly and efficiently.
Now the survey is over, and marriage equality has passed parliament, it’s critical that we continue to look out for those who have suffered over the past few months. This includes supporting family, friends and colleagues of the LGBTIQ community.
As our country’s leading youth mental health organisations, we see, hear and feel the real and devastating link between LGBTIQ discrimination and poor mental health and higher risk of suicide every day.
It is undeniable that this experience was more acute during the marriage equality postal survey, as evident in a study released by the Australia Institute and the National LGBTI Health Alliance this week.
This study noted that over the course of the postal survey, verbal and physical assaults towards LGBTIQ people more than doubled. There was also an increase in reports of depression, anxiety and stress after the postal survey was first announced.
We trust that the government will continue to work with frontline mental health services to help those who require additional mental health support as a result of the postal survey.
It is also essential to remind young Australians that mental health services and support are available today, and into the future.
ReachOut has online support available 24/7 and young people can also visit any of the 100 headspace centres across Australia.
Professor Helen Christensen, Director and Chief Scientist, Black Dog Institute
Jason Trethowan, CEO, headspace
Professor Pat McGorry AO, Executive Director Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health
Jono Nicholas, CEO, ReachOut
Professor Ian Hickie AM, Co-Director, The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre
#mindthefacts is a national campaign launched in September by five of Australia’s leading youth mental health organisations: Black Dog Institute, headspace, ReachOut, Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney and Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.
The campaign asked Australians to consider the real and devastating link between discrimination and negative mental health impacts for young LGBTIQ people when voting in the marriage equality postal survey. The campaign followed urgent high-level talks between the mental health groups after a surge in demand for mental health services as a result of the same sex marriage postal survey.