Five of Australia’s peak mental health organisations have intervened in the marriage equality postal survey ‘debate’, urging Australians to vote Yes because marriage equality could prevent 3000 teen suicide attempts each year.
After weeks of urgent talks due to a surge in demand for mental health services from LGBTI people and their families because of the postal survey, Black Dog Institute, headspace, ReachOut, Brain and Mind Centre at University of Sydney and Orygen, the National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health today launched the #mindthefacts campaign.
The campaign uses real facts and evidence about the impact discrimination has on the mental health of young members of the LGBTI community to urge Australians to vote Yes.
“As Australia’s leading youth mental health organisations, we see, hear and feel the real and devastating link between LGBTIQ discrimination and youth suicide rates and mental illness every day," the group said in a statement.
“This has only been heightened by the decision to proceed with this postal survey, despite our warnings.”
“We deal in facts – and there’s one fact Australians can’t ignore: discrimination against young LGBTIQ people leads to poor mental health outcomes and a higher risk of suicide. We therefore feel collectively compelled to intervene in this debate to ensure Australians have access to real clinical evidence and research, not alternate facts and fiction.”
The group cites peer-reviewed research which finds that in the United States, implementation of same-sex marriage policies has been associated with a 7% relative reduction in the proportion of high school students attempting suicide. The association was strongest among sexual minority students.
Based on figures from the Second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing this would equate to almost 3,000 fewer suicide attempts made by Australian secondary school students each year.
“This confronting statistic highlights both the human impacts of the current discrimination against LGBTIQ relationships, and the positive future that marriage equality can achieve for Australia,” said Jono Nicholas, CEO, ReachOut speaking on behalf of the campaign coalition.
“That is why we are asking Australians to #mindthefacts and vote ‘YES’ when filling out their postal survey form over the next month.”
No word yet as to whether the Prime Minister still considers the Labor Party's concerns about the effect of the ‘debate’ on the mental health of the LGBTI community ‘completely ridiculous’ or whether Nationals Senator Matthew Canavan still thinks members of the LGBTI community should stop being "delicate little flowers" and "grow a spine and grow up."
If you need help now:
Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
Q Life - 1800 184 527
headspace - 1800 650 890 or visit eheadspace.org.au
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