Mental Health

By Dr Ruth McNair. Updated 13th October 2014

Maintaining mental health for lesbians, bisexual and queer women relies on being able to find supportive friends and effective ways of dealing with negative community attitudes and homophobic discrimination. These include finding like-minded women to talk with, and talking with sensitive health care providers. Some women live with high levels of stress due to needing to hide their sexual orientation from work colleagues, friends or family; or feeling isolated; or being out but abused due to their sexual orientation. As a result of this stress, more lesbians and particularly bisexual women suffer from depression or anxiety than heterosexual women. The earlier you can find professional support from someone who is able to understand how your sexual orientation may be connected with your mental health, the better.

Resources:

Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, is a free phone counselling service specifically for LGBTQ people:

http://www.switchboard.org.au/counselling

Melbourne: 03 9663 2939

Regional Victoria & Tasmania: 1800 184 527

Victorian Aids Council
Lesbian-sensitive public counselling is available at the Victorian Aids Council
6 Claremont St, South Yarra,
Phone: 03 9865 6700, 1800 134 840,
www.vicaids.asn.au

The Black Dog institute has produced a fact sheet: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/MooddisordersintheLGBTQIcommunities.pdf

 

BeyondBlue,  the national depression and anxiety initiative has produced a number of resources:

Online forums and resources available

Website: http://beyondblue.com.au/resources/for-me/lesbian-gay-bi-trans-and-intersex-lgbti-people

Phone: 1300 22 4636

Web chat available: 4pm to 10pm

 

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/resources/for-me/men/take-action-before-the-blue-takes-over

Beyondblue also have a resource for families with LGBTI children:

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/resources/for-me/lesbian-gay-bi-trans-and-intersex-lgbti-people/families-like-mine

 

And they have a LGBT specific community education campaign:

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/resources/for-me/lesbian-gay-bi-trans-and-intersex-lgbti-people/stop-think-respect-campaign