• Victorian Coalition Government $215,000 investment in reducing the risk of suicide among GLBTI young people
• Diversity Project delivered by UnitingCare Cutting Edge has made a valuable contribution to suicide prevention in the Shepparton area
• Coalition Government is building a better supported Victoria
The Nationals Member for Shepparton, Jeanette Powell today announced the Diversity Project in Shepparton has received $215,000 from the Victorian Coalition Government to allow its work to continue for 2014-15.
Mrs Powell said the Diversity Project delivered by UnitingCare Cutting Edge works with the community and relevant services to provide respectful and safe environments and improve the health and wellbeing of same sex attracted, intersex/gender-diverse (SSAIGD) young people, aged 10-25 in the Greater Shepparton region.
“The Diversity Project has provided much needed assistance in the Shepparton area,” Mrs Powell said.
“In the past three years it has provided high level consultation to over 20 schools/organisations in Shepparton and Mooroopna, become a member of the Sexual Health & Reproductive Health and Sexual Health Networks and joined the GV Primary Care Partnership working group, among many other groups/organisations.
“It has provided individual support and counselling to over 275 young people and partnered with over 30 service providers in the district.
“Diversity Project members have reported positive outcomes from contact with local media outlets and have hosted many media events which have resulted in reduced stigma of SSAIGD young people.
“Group members have also been involved in increasing community awareness of the impacts of bullying and discrimination on the health and wellbeing of SSAIGD young people.
“The Project is closely aligned with the statewide Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) Project and the additional funding will allow both projects to run concurrently,” Mrs Powell said.
Minister for Mental Health, Mary Wooldridge said that Victoria has a reputation for being an inclusive state, and the fact that there’s support for GLBTI young people to improve mental health and reduce stigma for themselves is an achievement to be proud of.
“We want all young people to live free from harassment and violence and to feel supported to access health services that are welcoming and sensitive to their needs,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“These projects deliver innovative approaches to address and support the mental health of GLBTI young people.”
Mrs Powell said the funding has been provided to the Diversity Project on the understanding that a transition plan will be developed to ensure the gains made are embedded into the regular youth work of UnitingCare Cutting Edge.
“This will enable GLBTI young people in Shepparton to continue to benefit into the future.”