Mental Health

We’re here to help LGBTI people and people with HIV take control of their mental health by providing a range of counselling services and a care coordination program for people with complex needs.

Information

Mental Health Basics

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While many LGBTI people live happy, healthy and productive lives, there are a range of preventable mental health issues which affect a disproportionate number of people in the LGBTI community compared to the general population.

LGBTI people are:

  • Twice as likely to experience anxiety disorders
  • Three times as likely to experience affective disorders such as depression and social phobias
  • Five times more likely to experience major depressive episodes
  • Up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide (ACON Mental Health Outcome Strategy)

Our Peace Of Mind project seeks to reduce the impact of mental distress in the LGBTI community by helping people improve their understanding of mental health and their ability to help people experiencing mental health issues.

How To Rise Above The Noise Of The “Religious Freedoms” Debate Resource

In light of the likely emotional distress being caused by the harmful debate surrounding “religious freedoms”, ACON has put together support resources that we hope will help everyone within our communities, particularly LGBTIQ people of colour and of faith, who may find themselves most vulnerable to hate speech at this time.

You can download the full-sized resources below:

Rising Above PDF

Rising Above JPG

Rising Above Text Only PDF

Trans and Strong Resource

Following a worryingly high amount of recent negative media coverage attacking trans and gender diverse (TGD) people, we developed the ‘Trans and Strong’ resilience resource for TGD community members, friends, family and allies to support them through what may be a very trying time.

Summer Holiday Safety Tips

We’ve put together a three-part guide to help our LGBTI communities have the best and safest Summer holiday period possible. There are guides offering handy and practical tips on how to manage:

Services

HIV Counselling

counselling

We provide FREE and confidential short term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for:

  • People with HIV
  • People at risk of HIV
  • People affected by HIV (e.g. partners, family and friends)
  • People testing for HIV

We prioritise:

  • People newly diagnosed with HIV
  • Financially disadvantaged people
  • People experiencing health or relationship needs related to HIV
  • People experiencing the effects of a recent trauma, domestic/family violence or homophobic/transphobic violence

Counsellors use a solutions focused model drawing on a range of approaches to best meet the needs of individuals and couples.

To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.

For more information or to undertake an intake assessment, please contact your nearest ACON office or to enquire about making an appointment click here.

LGBTI Counselling and Support

Counselling

We provide confidential fee-based short term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for LGBTI people seeking support in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. Volunteer counsellors use a solutions focused model and a range of therapeutic approaches to better equip people to deal with life’s challenges.

Fees for this service are negotiated according to individual circumstances, and priority is given to people on low incomes or with limited options.

LGBTI counselling in Sydney is available Tues and Thurs evenings. For appointment options in regional NSW please contact the relevant office.

Unfortunately this service is not suitable for:

  • People who use violence
  • People with unmanaged or unsupported mental illness or substance use

To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.

For more information or to undertake a brief assessment please contact your nearest ACON office or submit an enquiry.

 

If you are experiencing prejudice related violence or harassment here are some options for counselling and support:

  • ACON provides counselling as well as social work support to help people resolve complex or ongoing violence and harassment matters. Call 9206 2000 to make an appointment.
  • QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. For more information click here.
  • ICLC can provide legal support such as assistance with preparing an Apprehended Personal Violence Order. For more information click here.
  • Lifeline provides 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services to all Australians experiencing a personal crisis. For more information click here.

Substance Support Counselling

support

We provide confidential FREE short term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for LGBTI people and people with HIV seeking support in relation to their use of alcohol and other drugs.

Our counsellors work from a harm reduction approach to assist clients reach their goals to manage use, reduce or quit.

This service is offered in Sydney. Outside of Sydney, this service is available face to face in Lismore and Newcastle, and by phone or Skype anywhere in regional NSW.

To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.

For more information or to undertake a brief assessment please contact our Sydney office or submit an enquiry.

 

Suicide Prevention and Aftercare

Are you finding yourself thinking or recovering from suicidal thoughts or self-harm?

Have you recently been discharged from hospital after a suicide attempt?

Are you concerned about a LGBTI loved one?

Would you like further support?

We offer a FREE and confidential suicide prevention and aftercare service comprising non-judgmental short term care coordination support for LGBTI people aged over 18 years of age.

  • This service is for people who have recently made a suicide attempt or at high risk of suicide.
  • The service operates during business hours only. For more information contact our intake officer on 9206 2000 or email intake@acon.org.au

For support outside of business hours or for crisis support please contact:

  • Emergency assistance: (triple zero) 000
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
  • NSW Mental Health Access Line: 1800 011 511
  • QLife: 1800 184 527
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 043 470

This service is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health for Sydney and South Eastern Sydney LHDs and St Vincent’s Health Network regions.

Care Coordination

care coordination

Our Care Coordinators are allied health professionals who can help clients with multiple and/or complex needs to:

  • Access relevant healthcare and support services
  • Increase their ability to manage their care and treatment
  • Reduce social isolation

Needs may include:

  • HIV
  • Mental health
  • Alcohol and/or drug use
  • Housing
  • Family/domestic violence
  • Finances
  • Legal

Care coordinators work with clients over 3 months to develop a care plan and provide support to help clients achieve their goals and meet their needs

This service is FREE and confidential.

Priority is given to people with HIV, and people at risk or affected by HIV

Our Care Coordinators work in Sydney at our office in Surry Hills as well as the Taylor Square Private Clinic and Holdsworth House Medical Practice in Darlinghurst.

To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.

For more information or to undertake a brief intake assessment, please contact our Sydney office 02 9206 2000 to enquire about making an appointment click here.

 

Regional NSW

Our care coordinators also work in the Hunter and Northern Rivers regions of NSW.

To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.

For more information or to undertake a brief assessment please contact our Hunter or Northern Rivers offices or submit an enquiry.