It’s great and important that we’re celebrating all that is good in our varied communities. However, there are other issues that we need to pay attention to as well and that includes taking a hard look at the mental health or our GLBTI communities, the focus of the upcoming LGBTTI Wellness & Suicide Symposium in Auckland.
The Prime Minister in his youth mental health project challenged services to respond to the specific mental health needs of young people. As part of that project he highlight the particular needs of GLBTI youth.
Research indicates that these youth have significantly higher rates of both suicide and mental health problems that often extend into their adult lives and on into old age. Such problems are typically the result of stigmatisation, bullying, trauma and isolation, all of which can be tackled by both community and agency responses.
The Symposium, organised and supported by Auckland District Health Board, OUTlineNZ, the Mental Health Foundation, Rainbow Youth and Affinity Services, will focus on three things:
- The evidence – why this is an issue and why we should respond, raising awareness of the problem.
- It will show how this affects people’s lives now, for both youth and adults, and talk about what mental health and wellness means for our community.
- Through the Symposium, the community will be invited to present ideas and suggest items to which individuals, groups, organisations and government agencies can respond and support.
Anyone from the GLBTI community is encouraged to attend, but the Symposium is also for professionals and organisations that provide a service or support to people in our community. The hope is that the combined perspectives and experience will help to bring great rewards from the LGBTTI Wellness & Suicide Symposium for today’s youth and the productive lives they have in store.
| Michael Stevens
The Symposium takes place on Wednesday 27 February. To find out more, contact either Robert Ford at email@example.com (021 985 965) or Michael Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org (027 703 7220).