This month we are focusing on QLife, a service committed to providing a free and confidential phone and webchat support for anyone who is LGBTIQ+ and their loved ones wanting to talk about a range of issues, including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings, or relationships.
LGBTIQ+ is an evolving acronym used that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning or diverse in their sexuality.
Qlife is run by LGBTIQ+ people for LGBTIQ+ people and provides an Australia-wide peer support and referral service. As the service is a peer support service, it does not provide crisis mental health services or counselling. They can however have a chat, offer support, and provide referrals and information as to where and how to find help.
This free service is available 365 days of the year between 3pm and midnight. The service can be accessed by calling 1800 184 527 or joining a webchat at qlife.org.au/get-help
It is a fact that people who live in non-urban areas of Australia, have more challenges to access health services in general.
For those who are also lesian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex (LGBTI) face some unique factors in social connection, accessing services and maintaining health and wellbeing. This is often related to fear of misunderstanding, stigma, discrimination, and privacy concerns. These are risk factors that can contribute to higher levels of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
Opportunities for connection via online technology including social media can help to decrease isolation and foster social connection regardless of location. Technological advances can also give greater access to information and educational resources, online health consultations and specialist support services such as telephone and webchat. QLife is one such service.
Qlife provides an excellent range of resources (including a series of videos), on their page for health and other professionals, family, and community members to use as education tools and to gain insight and knowledge into the lived experience of people that forms part of the LGBTIQ+ community. This also includes a QDIRECTORY to help LGBTIQ+ people of all ages discover a range of services and information about crisis support, mental health, sexual and legal help.
Visit www.denimentalhealth.org.au/helplines for a range of helplines that provides support to all people of all gender and all ages.