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Peace of Mind Project “The Power of Partnerships” Building the Mental Health Literacy of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Communities.

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Presentation on theme: "Peace of Mind Project “The Power of Partnerships” Building the Mental Health Literacy of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Communities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peace of Mind Project “The Power of Partnerships” Building the Mental Health Literacy of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Communities in NSW Vicky Coumbe-ACON

2 Background In 2009, ACON received a grant from the Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office (MHDAO), NSW Health, to build a mental health program targeting the GLBT community to address the disproportionately high rates of mental health distress in the community. Initially the project aimed to model the “Mental Health First Aid” course tailored for GLBT communities. Investigation into available existing accredited workshops occurred. In line with the objectives from the ACON Mental Health Strategy, a best practice recovery oriented model decided upon.

3 Objectives of Peace of Mind Increased knowledge around mental health issues facing the GLBT community (GLBT community and service providers) Increased ability of mental health service providers to provide culturally appropriate services to the GLBT community Increased access for members of the GLBT community to mental health services in NSW Increased ability of individuals within the GLBT community to identify and respond to their own mental health needs Increased recognition of and responsiveness to the mental health issues and needs of the GLBT community

4 Partnerships to meet objectives ACON has a wealth of experience in community engagement and peer education within GLBT context Strong history in direct service delivery of therapeutic counselling and group work across NSW ACON needed to partner with a mental health peak body with a strong focus on mental health education that was well established and evaluated. The Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) were also looking to find avenues of engagement with GLBT communities MHCC met all of these requirements and willing to make appropriate adaptations to existing material to meet our needs

5 Mental Health Coordinating Council Partnership The MHCC provided a credible and accessible 1 day adaption of their highly evaluated and acclaimed MH CONNECT Workshop. 2 pilot workshops were recruited for and delivered to gather feedback for evaluation purposes. A final adaption was produced and is now one of the community workshops of Peace of Mind. Jointly delivered service provider information sessions presenting GLBT mental health issues through the “Meet Your Neighbour” sessions. A formalised, sustainable working partnership on other projects that would increase MHCC engagement with GLBT communities and strengthen ACON’s work with a peak MH organisation beyond the life of the funding stream.

6 National LGBTI Health Alliance Partnership Feedback from participants led us to add additional community workshops on the topics of depression and suicide prevention The LGBTI Health Alliance was able to provide us the knowledge that we needed to deliver more community workshops Rainbow Blues- understanding depression and anxiety in LGBTI People From Dying to Thriving- understanding and responding to suicide in LGBTI People Training up ACON staff to jointly deliver workshops. Opportunity to up- skill staff for future training delivery

7 Gay & Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV) Partnership Designed by GLHV GLBT sensitivity training for the mental health sector Free of charge ½ day training, state wide delivery for service providers within mental health sector and other allied health workers Main objective of increasing accessibility to mental health services for community members by removing real or perceived access barriers

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9 The importance of networking Limitations often experienced by NGO’s and not for profit sectors, both financial and skills based Time limitation- 18 months funding stream Working to your strengths Why reinvent the wheel? Mutual benefit, not to mention to advantage gained for the participants of the workshops Ongoing working relationships / referrals / future collaborations

10 Thank You Contacts: Vicky Coumbe, Project Manager (02)


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