Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas, today announced that WayOut at Cobaw Community Health will receive $195,000 to deliver youth suicide prevention programs targeting LGBTI young people in Macedon and surrounds.

The announcement was made at an event organised by Kyneton Secondary College students, “Wear it Purple Day,” which seeks to recognise and support the gender and sexual diversity of young people across our community.

CEO of Cobaw Community Health, Margaret McDonald, said WayOut has accomplished a huge amount in Macedon and the $195,000 grant will allow Cobaw to support more young people through initiatives and events such as this.

The grant is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $1.2 million in 2015-16 to fund programs that promote the rights, health and wellbeing of young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Victorians.

The funding will go to groups and organisations across Victoria under the Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) project.

The HEY Project aims to raise awareness, promote acceptance of diversity, eliminate stigma and discrimination, and improve mental health, including tackling suicide in young LGBTI people.

The $1.2 million in funding will allow organisations such as WayOut to provide more resources and information to support local LGBTI young people and establish local youth groups using web-based social media strategies to engage and develop youth leadership.

The funding is part of the $5.9 million secured by the Andrews Labor Government in the 2015/16 Victorian Budget to support programs that promote the rights, mental health and wellbeing of LGBTI Victorians.

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas MP

“The statistics tell us that young LGBTI people are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide. This is often driven by fear of discrimination and bullying.”

“Equal rights for LGBTI Victorians are not negotiable. Our Government is committed to removing discrimination against LGBTI people from Victorian laws, and this funding will support work to educate and raise awareness about gender and sexual diversity in our community”.