Today I’m wearing my best purple attire for Wear It Purple Day. An international day to raise awareness of the experiences of LGBTIQA+ young people, to demonstrate allyship, remind them there is hope and acceptance, and they have every right to be proud of who they are and who they are becoming.
The 2022 theme ‘Still me, still human’ encapsulates the message of humanity, honesty, integrity and authenticity when discussing all diverse identities within the LGBTQIA+ community.
The ever-increasing public attack on rights is driving up the already staggering statistics of poor mental health and suicide rates amongst LGBTQIA+ people. Watching debates and hearing the rhetoric chosen by news organisations or politicians on the rights of those in our LGBTQIA+ community (e.g. debates on Religious Discrimination Bills, the same sex marriage survey, trans and gender diverse inclusion in sports, just to list a few) has had negative impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of those in our LGBTQIA+ community. ‘Still me, still human’ reminds us to cut through the dehumanising labels, the stigma, the news story, and to focus on the humans at the heart of the matter. Everybody deserves to be treated with respect and dignity – it is crucial for our mental health. Today (and every day) is a day to tell our LGBTIQA+ young people; we see you, we hear you and we care about you. You are not alone.
Looking to the Mental Health Australia calendar for the next three months, we have much to look forward to and plenty to get on with.
As you may have noticed from my diary updates, engagement with the new federal government is gathering pace and it is great to see important issues getting traction.
- On 31 August, we will be holding a member-exclusive webinar launching the research piece: Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italian, Turkish and Vietnamese Communities. The research was conducted by Whereto Research, commissioned by Embrace and funded by the National Mental Health Commission
- On Thursday 8 September, we will be welcoming the CEOs of our member organisations to our 2022 Mental Health Australia Parliamentary Advocacy Day at Parliament House in Canberra – to be launched by the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler MP
- On 14 & 28 September, we’ll be holding a Members Policy Hub on Employment and Mental Health
- On 19-22 September, the Embrace Multicultural Mental Health Project will be holding face-to-face training and a two day workshop with the Embrace lived Experience Group in Hobart
- 10 October is World Mental Health Day. The theme for this year’s Mental Health Australia campaign extends our call to, ‘Look after your mental health, Australia’ and focuses on “Awareness, Belonging and Connection”. More on how to partner with the campaign next month.
- Mental Health Australia holds its Board Director Election in October
- Our annual Grace Groom Memorial Oration will be held in November, along with a Member Policy Forum and Annual General Meeting.
- We will also be scheduling a Members Policy Hub on housing and mental health, a Psychosocial Summit, and a peer workforce roundtable … watch this space.
Thank you for all that you do.
We look forward to working with our members and other stakeholders on these important issues as we continue to advocate for systemic change.
PS. If your organisation is not already a member of Mental Health Australia, and are interested in membership – contact Hannah at Hannah.Carrigy@mhaustralia.org or find out more on our Memberships page.