Tandem eNews 8 June 2021

Dear members and supporters,

Happy Pride Month and welcome to the rainbow edition of eNews!

This edition creates an opportunity to share some of the recommendations in the Royal Commission final report that are specific to the LGBTIQA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer or questioning and asexual) community. We have profiles of some of our partners in the community – particularly Switchboard’s Rainbow Door service, which has been funded to play a significant role as an entry point into the mental health system for LGBTIQA+ people and their families moving forward.

We’ve collated a selection of resources that may be helpful for family and friends of LGBTIQA+ people, as well as our usual resources for all families and friends – including an update on the COVID-19 vaccination program, some ‘Pop Up’ wellbeing sessions for carers, new programs for young people from the Satellite Foundation and more.

Don’t forget to come along to our June Members’ Meeting this Thursday from 10am-12pm, which will include a presentation on the Royal Commission’s final report and an important consultation session; ‘What do we want to see included in the new ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing Act?’

We hope to see you there!

      • Introduction
      • The Royal Commission final report: What’s in it for our LGBTIQA+ community?
      • Next Tandem Members Meeting – this Thursday
      • Introducing Rainbow Door
      • Introducing queerspace
      • Resources for families and friends of LGBTIQA+ people
      • Update on the COVID-19 vaccination program
      • Free tickets for Mental Health Victoria’s ‘Preparing for Reform’ symposium
      • Pop Up wellbeing sessions for carers
      • At Home with Satellite – plus Satellite Slam postponed
      • Tandem Support & Referral Line
      • Other Mental Health Helplines and Webchats
      • Join the Tandem Family


    Your story is powerful

      • .  Join Tandem’s community of family and friends to advocate for a safe, inclusive, fair and funded mental health system in Victoria.


    The Royal Commission final report: What’s in it for the LGBTIQA+ community?

    The final report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System recognised what many other reports have also found – that Victoria’s LGBTIQA+ community experience significantly worse mental health than other members of our community. Most frighteningly, La Trobe University’s recent Private Lives 3 study found that 74 per cent of LGBTIQA+ people have experienced suicidal ideation over their lifetime (compared to roughly 16 per cent of the general population), and that 40 per cent have experienced suicidal ideation recently (compared to just 5 per cent of the general population).

    It’s important to note that these mental health struggles don’t have anything to do with being LGBTIQA+ itself: they relate directly to the stigma and discrimination experienced by this community, including from mental health services.

    There are two recommendations within the report that are specific to the LGBTIQA+ community:

    1. To provide recurrent funding to Switchboard Victoria to deliver its Rainbow Door program, at scale, to support LGBTIQA+ people to navigate and access the mental health and wellbeing system (part of recommendation 34 – ‘Working in partnership with and improving accessibility for diverse communities’ – which you can find in Volume 2 of the report) and
    2. To co-produce an aftercare service for LGBTIQA+ people following a suicide attempt (part of recommendation 27 – ‘Facilitating suicide prevention and response initiatives’ – which you can find in Volume 3 of the report)

    Recommendation 34 contains other aspects that will impact the LGBTIQA+ community too. These include a recommendation to collect and report data on diverse communities and to support community-led organisations to design and deliver mental health and wellbeing information and awareness campaigns, and to assist their communities to navigate the mental health and wellbeing system.

    Numerous recommendations mention ensuring that people from LGBTIQA+ communities are included and represented.

    Recommendation 41 aims to address stigma and discrimination, and recommendations 16 and 17 focus on creating mentally healthy schools and workplaces, including through anti-stigma and anti-bullying programs.

    It’s important to note that the publication of the final report is only the beginning of the process of mental health reform: we are now entering a period of intense discussion and consultation that will determine how each of the recommendations are implemented, and where the inclusion of LGBTIQA+ voices will be important.

    If you’re part of the LGBTIQA+ community and care for or support someone with mental health issues, we would like to encourage you to join our carer register as one way of participating in consultation sessions as part of the mental health reform process. If you’re interested, please email mhcregister@tandemcarers.org.au

    You can access the complete enews via the link below: