The Andrews Labor Government is preparing to provide additional mental health support to the LGBTI community if the Turnbull Government’s unnecessary marriage equality plebiscite proceeds.
With the proposed plebiscite scheduled to take place on February 11 next year, the Labor Government will provide $500,000 to support the LGBTI community over the next six months amid public debate and scrutiny.
The package will include a range of measures for young people, an awareness campaign to support LGBTI Victorians and other vulnerable groups and a funding increase to key LGBTI agencies to provide support.
The funding is part of a broader $27 million investment over four years to implement a suicide prevention framework across the state, including trials of new models in communities and health networks across the state.
The Government’s 10-Year Mental Health Plan sees the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTI Victorians as a high priority. Work to address stigma, prejudice and discrimination too often experienced by the community is critical.
This funding comes on top of the Government’s $29 million Victorian Budget 2016/17package – which will see an Australian first pride centre and support for LGBTI organisations to build their capacity and work to combat homophobia.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“The plebiscite is unnecessary – it is a Liberal Party opinion poll that sets a dangerous precedent at an unnecessary expense.”
“A campaign hasn’t even started and we are already starting to see the impact – that’s why Victoria needs to be ready to stand by our LGBTI community.”
“We will act quickly to ensure our agencies have additional resources and our community is aware of the need to support their friends and neighbours during a damaging campaign.”