headspace supports LGBTIQA+ young people on IDAHOBIT Day 2023

To be attributed to Vikki Ryall, Executive Director Clinical Practice

headspace is proud to celebrate and support LGBTIQA+ young people, today and every day.

About 30 per cent of young people who seek support at headspace each year identify as part of the LGBTIQA+ community.

LGBTIQA+ young people are dynamic and resilient young people who make significant contributions to their communities.

IDAHOBIT Day this year comes on the heels of a very distressing period both here and abroad, during which time queer people have been the target of fearmongering, misinformation and public attacks.

Trans and gender-diverse people have shouldered the brunt of this abuse.

IDAHOBIT Day is an important reminder that all people are entitled to express their authentic selves, free from discrimination.

headspace research shows LGBTIQA+ young people are about twice as likely as their cisgender and heterosexual peers to report high or very high levels of psychological distress.

They are more likely to report feelings of loneliness, and less likely to talk to others about how they’re feeling.

But these young people don’t experience mental ill-health because they identify as LGBTIQA+. Rather it is social exclusion, discrimination and feelings of isolation that increase the likelihood of LGBTIQA+ young people experiencing mental ill-health.

This is why IDAHOBIT Day matters.

Young people who identify as LGBTIQA+ need allyship. Allyship can be: calling out discrimination when you see it; getting educated about the experiences and the needs of the LGBTIQA+ community; having visible displays of support, like a rainbow flag, and using inclusive language that respects the sexuality and gender identity of all people.

These small steps, taken every day, are important for the eradication of discrimination and bigotry – and for the improvement of mental health among young people who are LGBTIQA+.

Young people aged 12 to 25, as well as their family and friends can visit headspace for support. Help is also available via phone and online counselling service, eheadspace, seven days a week between 9am–1am (AEST). The number is 1800 650 890.

If you’re looking for someone to talk to immediately, Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) are available to talk 24/7.