Mental health is a term that broadly describes our mental well being. It’s about our state of mind, and also our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It’s also about our relationship with the outside world, with other people, with society, with our culture and with ourselves.
Research has shown that young people who are same gender attracted or gender diverse are more likely to experience mental health issues. This is not because there is something inherently wrong with being LGBTIQ+, but because we experience marginalisation and stigmatisation in society, which can make it harder for us to cope with everything in our lives.
It’s important to remember a few things:
Being LGBTIQ+ or being confused about your sexuality or gender doesn’t mean you have a mental illness. Feeling attracted to the same gender is as natural as being attracted to a different gender or to no one at all. The same goes for being gender diverse –it’s natural and it’s OK.
You are not alone; there are plenty of others who feel similar feelings to what you’re feeling.
Everyone deserves to be treated with RESPECT by others. It is not okay for people to call you names, or tease you, or make you feel unsafe
When things are difficult to deal with on your own it’s important to get support. You may have people in your life that you already do or can get support from. Sometimes that’s enough and other times we need more than that. Sometimes just having someone like a friend or family member listen to how we’re feeling is all we need to feel better. Other times a professional’s knowledge can help us figure out how to deal with things that are trickier.
Remember that there are heaps of different places you can get support. Support can come in all different forms, and sometimes we have to try a few different kinds to find something that suits your individual needs or situation. FC Staff are there to help you find the best services for your needs too so if you're unsure email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are at risk call one of the 24hr lines below or in an emergency call 000. If you're outside of Western Australia go to https://qlife.org.au/ or read on to discover some of the support services available to you.
Depression refers to changes to our mood and interest/motivation in doing our usual activities. People who experience depression usually say they notice some of the following:
Feeling sad or unhappy a lot of the time or crying a lot
Losing interest in doing the things that you used to find enjoyable and finding it hard to get motivated to do thing
Feeling angry and annoyed, irritable and fed up most of the time.
Feeling worthless, guilty and to blame for the way things are in life.
Having trouble concentrating.
Sleep problems such as difficulty falling asleep or waking up, waking during the night and having trouble getting back to sleep, or sleeping too much.
Changes to usual appetite.
Thoughts of death or hurting yourself.
Most people have some time in their life when the feel down in their mood, such as sad, lost, hurt, or alone. But if these or any of the things listed above last for longer than 2 weeks it may mean that you are experiencing depression. You can get help to overcome depression from the services listed below.
Anxiety is a natural emotion we all have when we are faced with danger or a threatening situation or event. Working out who you are and possibly dealing with discrimination and bullying can be pretty intense and scary stuff! This may trigger anxiety in some people.
People who experience anxiety describe having fears and worries about their safety and/or the safety of others. In some people these worries might be accompanied by different body sensations including:
shortness of breath
hot and cold flushes
tingling sensations in arms and legs
“butterflies” in the stomach
dryness of mouth
Because of this people with anxiety may choose not to go out and participate in the things they used to; choosing to stay away from the situations where these worries or sensations happen. If you are experiencing any of the above, contact a support service or talk with your doctor, school counsellor, parent, or someone you trust.
Self-care can be a really important part of maintaining your emotional and mental well-being by helping you keep healthy, recharge and manage your health. Self-care means intentionally taking time for yourself to do things that are relaxing and that help you unwind.
For more information about self-care you can check out http://au.reachout.com/what-is-self-care.
NEED HELP NOW?
If you need immediate help, call 000 for emergency services
You can also access the 24 hour phone services below in times of crisis
Phone 13 11 14
Phone 1800 551 800
Also offers online counselling
If you live in the Perth Metropolitan area: (08) 9223 1111
If you live outside the Perth Metropolitan area: 1800 199 008
SUICIDE CALLBACK SERVICE
Phone 1300 659 467
SAMARITANS YOUTH LINE
Phone 1800 198 313
LGBTIQ+ FRIENDLY SERVICES
Living Proud LGBTI Community Services of WA /QLife Counselling & Info Line
1800 184 527
(3PM-midnight 7 days a week)
National/ IM chat: qlife.org.au
WA AIDS COUNCIL
Specialises in diverse sexuality & gender counselling
TRANS FOLK OF WA
TransFolk of WA is a support service for all transgender people and their loved ones in Western Australia. They offer a variety of services including support groups and meetups.
Free youth health service for counselling and other health issues
Online support at https://www.eheadspace.org.au/
1800 650 890
INCLUSIVE EDUCATION WA
Inclusive Education WA is a resource for schools and school staff across WA to access if they want to ensure that their schools environment is safe and inclusive for everyone, including for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse (SSAIGD) students, staff and families.
Click here for more information
Youth Focus operates a free, professional counselling service for young people aged 12 to 25 who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety and self-harm.
08 6266 4333
Sexual Health Quarters (SHQ)
offers a professional counselling service that specialises in unplanned pregnancy, sexual health, sexuality, gender, and sexual relationships. They also offer STI testing and treatment.
08 9227 6177
YMCA WA offer counselling for young people aged 12 to 25 and their families
08 9328 3522
YOUTH BEYOND BLUE
ACCOMMODATION AND YOUTH SUPPORT
FOYER ON OXFORD
Provides young people with fully self-contained transitional housing for up to two years, combined with personalised social supports and opportunities to access employment, education and training.
1800 185 685
PASSAGES RESOURCE CENTRE
A referral service for homeless or street present young people between the ages of 12 and 25. Their other services include a breakfast club, kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities, computer and internet access, phone and mail collection, referrals, life skills programs, and info workshops.
Northbridge: 08 9228 1478
Mandurah/Peel: 08 9583 5160
OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES
ALCOHOL & DRUG INFORMATION SERVICE (ADIS)
Statewide confidential service providing info, counselling, advice and referrals for anyone in relation to drug and alcohol use (their own or another’s).
Metro: 08 9442 5000 (24hr)
Country: 1800 198 024 (Toll free 24hr)
SEXUAL HEALTH HELPLINE
Info and referrals about sexual health.
Metro: 08 9227 6178
Country callers: 1800 198 205
Monday and Tuesday 8:30am– 5:00pm
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8:30am - 4:00pm)
SEXUAL ASSAULT RESOURCE CENTRE (SARC)
Provides counselling and support for people who have been affected by sexual assault or sexual abuse
Office phone: 08 6458 1820
Crisis Line: 08 6458 1828 (24hrs)
Country callers – 1800 199 888