A range of events, activities and resources aiming to strengthen and support the mental health of people in LGBTQ+ communities will be produced and promoted by ACON – NSW’s leading health organisation for people of diverse sexualities and genders – during October’s Mental Health Month.

Mental Health Month is observed annually during October to promote the importance of early intervention practices for positive mental health and wellbeing, and reduce the stigma associated with mental health and seeking assistance. This year, the awareness initiative bears even greater significance and urgency given recent frequent and harmful attacks on LGBTQ+ people, especially trans people.

ACON offers services to LGBTQ+ communities across NSW. We have a team of specialist LGBTQ+ psychologists, peer workers, social workers, counsellors and referral support for LGBTQ+ people and those affected by HIV. To make an inquiry, call (02) 9206 2000 or visit

Here’s how ACON will shine a light on LGBTQ mental health during October:

Mental Health Matters Rainbow Inclusion Award – Award Sponsor
ACON is a proud sponsor of the Rainbow Inclusion Award at WayAhead’s Mental Health Matters Awards. The award recognises mental health programs, projects or initiatives that demonstrate commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of sexuality and gender diverse people.

Mental Health Month WayAhead Small Grants Scheme – Grants Sponsor
ACON is a proud sponsor of the WayAhead’s annual Mental Health Month Small Grants Scheme. Grants are provided for mental health projects specifically focusing on sexuality and gender diverse communities.

Supporting the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Mental Health
ACON is committed to improving policy responses to mental health. NSW is currently conducting an inquiry into the equity, accessibility and appropriate delivery of outpatient and community mental health care in NSW, and ACON provided a submission and gave evidence at the hearings in September to advocate for inclusive and affirming mental health care across the state. Hearings for the Inquiry continue throughout October – you can read ACON’s submission here.

Wellbeing and Resilience Workshops
ACON Northern Rivers will hold a workshop in Ballina on 19 October that will provide an opportunity for LGBTQ people in the region to learn tools to support their wellbeing and resiliency following a natural disaster. The workshops will also help LGBTQ people reflect and learn about an individual’s and community’s responses to collective trauma and how to care for self in a difficult time. Register here.

Peer-led Workshops on LGBTQ+ Experiences of Suicide
ACON is hosting workshops for our communities that will focus on topics such as sharing resources, cultivating relationships, forming a care team, empowering your voice and asserting your rights when talking about suicide and navigating support services. The workshops will centre the knowledge and experiences of attendees to create a space where we can share resources and nurture a culture of care. There will be four workshops, and each will be delivered twice: once via Zoom and once in-person in Ashfield, NSW. Register here.

Pride Counselling: Providing Much Needed Support for Our Communities
Pride Counselling, ACON’s LGBTQ inclusive and affirming counselling service, is here for LGBTQ+ community members not only during Mental Health Month, but any time of the year. Anyone from our communities can self-refer to the service. You can reduce your out-of-pocket costs through a Medicare Rebate if you have a GP or Psychiatrist referral with a Mental Health Treatment Plan. All funds generated through Pride Counselling are reinvested into ACON’s support services. Find out more here.

TransHub: Information and Resources for Trans People, Allies and Health Providers
At TransHub, trans people, their allies and health providers can find information on a diverse range of mental health topics including coming out, understanding gender affirmation, navigating services, self-determination, autonomy and agency. TransHub’s Trans Vitality Toolkit provides information, activities and resources to help build resilience and community connection – including an eLearning for mental health and crisis services. Explore TransHub here. Suicide Prevention Hub Supporting LGBTQ People in Crisis is ACON’s new digital hub for information on suicide and situational distress, connecting LGBTQ+ people, their loved ones, along with service providers in NSW to care, support, and resources. Since its launch in November 2022, has received overwhelming positive feedback from community and mainstream services and has continued to update its resources to provide much needed information to support members of our communities in crisis and experiencing distress. Visit

Guide to Hosting LGBTQ+ Events Safely
ACON has developed useful guides for LGBTQ+ organisations and councils in hosting events safety for sexuality and gender diverse communities. The guides offers tips and practical advice to ensure the safety of event hosts, and the safety of the communities we work with. Read it here as a PDF.

Supporting LGBTQ Mental Health Social Media Campaign
ACON will feature a series of posts throughout October on its social media channels that will provide practical advice for LGBTQ people to help improve their mental health and/or seek the support they may need.

Bolstering the Mental Health of First Nations LGBTQ+SB Communities During the Referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament
ACON will launch a communications campaign to support the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait LGBTQ+SB mob in the lead up to, during, and after the Referendum on a First Nations Voice to Parliament being held on 14 October.


ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said: “In research and surveys of LGBTQ+ communities, mental health is persistent and prominent as a key health issue.

“Because of the heightened amount of abuse and harassment LGBTQ people have been subjected recently, especially our trans siblings, barriers to strong mental health have been exacerbated for many in our communities.

“We also know that many LGBTQ people are reluctant to seeks professional help because of stigma and discrimination.

“Mental Health Month provides us with an important opportunity to raise awareness and facilitate a discussion around mental health in LGBTQ communities, reduce stigma associated with mental health and seeking support, and remind LGBTQ people that help is there for those who need it. The past few years have been extremely difficult for many us, so please reach out if you are experiencing distress or in need of support,” Parkhill said.

For more information about Mental Health Month, click here.

For more information about ACON’s work in mental health, click here.

ACON provides counselling, care coordination, peer work and referral support for LGBTQ people and those affected by HIV. To make an inquiry, call (02) 9206 2000 or visit

The following services are also available for mental health and wellbeing assistance:

  • Q Life – 1800 184 527
  • Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
  • Mensline – 1300 789 978


For more information please contact: David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications

E:   T: +61 (02) 9206 2044   M: +61 (0)428 477 042

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