Pictured the Minister Health Minister Robin Swann speaking today at the launch of the LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Advocacy Service at Belfast City Hall.
The Health Minister Robin Swann MLA attended the launch of the brand new LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Advocacy Service in Belfast earlier today. The Rainbow Project and HERe NI were awarded more than £260,000 through the Mental Health Support Fund.
The LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Advocacy Service launched today in Belfast City Hall will provide essential support for the LGBTQIA+ community and will help The Rainbow Project and HEReNI deliver vital mental health support to those who need it. This project brings together the expertise of the two organisations to provide holistic wrap-around services and practical resources to improve awareness, knowledge and confidence in promoting and supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community.
The LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Advocacy Service aims to help increase awareness and support for the mental health and well-being of LGBTQIA+ people and their families throughout Northern Ireland.
The project is a milestone in its approach to the wrap-around care of both the clients and families as well as offering a wide range of services and support, these include :
-Support for LGBTQIA+ individuals, families and carers.
– Self-Help Resources
– 1:1 Co Cultural Counselling
– 1:1 Health and Wellbeing Assessments
– 1:1 Listening Ear Sessions
– 1:1 Care Plan sessions
– Art therapy and Family counselling
– support and advocacy for individuals accessing mental health and well-being services
– Signposting resources and guidance so that the clients feel completely supported throughout their journey.
Pictured – Back Row – Amie Martin, LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Advocate, Nuala Devenny, Health and Wellbeing Manager, The Rainbow Project and Amanda McGurk, LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Advocate. Front row John O’Doherty, Director of the Rainbow Project and Health Minister Robin Swann with Cara McCann, Director of HERe NI.
Cara McCann, Director of HERe NI said,
“Members of the LGBTQIA+ Community and our families can often be invisible in society and this means that our health needs are often overlooked. When our two charities got together to create a project designed to challenge negative attitudes and misconceptions around mental health, this was based on our years of experience and addressed a clear need within our community. LGBTQIA+ People living with poor mental health require dedicated and specialist co-cultural services. We need to talk openly about the issue to break down fear and stigma around mental health.”
Pictured at Belfast City Hall is Health Minister Robin Swann with Cara McCann, Director of HERe NI and John O’Doherty, Director of the Rainbow Project.
John O’Doherty, Director of the Rainbow Project said,
“The Rainbow Project and HERe NI have experienced a significant increase in demand for services over the past two years. This has been reflected in recent research carried out by the Rainbow Project in 2021, which has shown that 33% of the LGBTQIA+ community has experienced poorer mental health, 65% of those responses said that they have experienced depression and 45% have experienced suicidal idealisation. Over 170 clients have accessed this service since we launched less than six months ago, they have been supported in counselling, advocacy and dedicated 1-2-1 support. We are excited to be working with our partners in HERe NI on this important project. We have heard today how the range of services provided by both organisations is already making a positive impact on the lives of service users.”
If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. Please contact the LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Advocacy service via email Hello@lgbtmh.org or by contacting us by telephone at The Rainbow Project: 028 9031 9030 or HEReNI: 028 9024 9452