web_mindout_buttonMindOUT, the National LGBTI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Project Survey, goes live.

MindOUT is the first national LGBTI mental health and suicide prevention project in Australia. MindOUT needs input from the LGBTI community as to what makes a real difference to mental wellbeing and suicide prevention.

Funding for this phase of the National LGBTI Health Alliance project has been provided by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) mental health and suicide prevention branch.

The first stage of the project (until June 30th, 2011) will establish the foundation for a subsequent two-year project stage. The larger second stage of the project is to begin in July 2011, subject to the provision of further funding, and will be informed by the activities above, including consultation with Alliance members and other key stakeholders.

The online survey of LGBTI, accessible at www.lgbthealth.org.au/mindout, went live on Thursday, 14th April.

“This survey of LGBTI community members is an important first stage for the project. We want to find out how aware people are of LGBTI mental health and suicide issues. People’s input to this survey will be vital to informing our further work in this area,” said Paul Martin, Chair, National LGBTI Health Alliance.

The online survey starts today and is open for four weeks until Friday 13th May.

The aim of this survey is to:

  1. Gain a better understanding of the level of awareness around mental health and suicide in the LGBTI community
  2. To assess what Mental Health and Suicide Prevention services are currently available
  3. Help plan for the future of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention service delivery for the LGBTI community

“The survey of LGBTI community members is only the first step. We will be asking for input from Alliance members and other LGBTI organisations as to what they think can be done to create a mentally healthy community,” said Paul Martin. “We will also be surveying mainstream mental health providers across Australia as to their current LGBTI links and supports.”

In the absence of core funding and with the recent departure of its Executive Director, an Alliance Mental Health Working Group has been established from committed Alliance members. The national working group is guiding activities and working with PricewaterhouseCoopers National Health Practice consultants.

“It’s our chance to have input to create a healthier community and influence the development of LGBTI appropriate approaches to mental health and suicide prevention, ” said Dani Wright from WA’s Freedom Centre, chair of the Alliance Working Group. By working at a national level, the National LGBTI Health Alliance is establishing a knowledge base and sustainable structures that will facilitate LGBTI inclusion in the development and delivery of programs, policies and research.

Stage 2 of the project will assist the mental health sector as a whole to respond more appropriately to the needs of LGBTI people, resulting in better access, better services, and better mental health in our communities in the future. This will complement and support the targeted services that some Alliance members are already providing.

In just 10 minutes you can contribute to a healthier community at lgbthealth.org.au/mindout.