Courageous Voices: Seeds of Hope and Transformation

The National LGBTI Health Alliance invites you to participate in the MindOUT! LGBTI Mental Health Conference.  The conference, the first of its kind in Australia, will examine the individual and social determinants that impact of the mental health outcomes of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.  Research and programmes that have been undertaken in Australia to address mental health and suicide in LGBTI communities will also be showcased.

Building on the MindOUT! Symposium in October 2012 and the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Stream at the Health in Difference in Conference in April 2013, the conference marks the conclusion of this phase of the MindOUT! LGBTI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Project.

With the theme Courageous Voices: Seeds of Hope and Transformation, this conference focuses on the enablers as well as the barriers that individuals encounter in coming to the point of being able to acknowledge and affirm their sexuality and/or  gender identity.  The theme will be explored in terms of the social, psychological and cultural impacts, both positive and negative, and the implications for clinical practice and the development of programmes to improve the mental health and well-being of LGBTI people.

The conference is being held on the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.  On those hot summer nights in New York, courageous voices spoke out against discrimination and persecution. Those riots are viewed as the birth of what came to be known as the Gay Liberation movement.  Forty five years on from that momentous event, much has been achieved in advancing the human rights and the health and well-being of LGBTI people. However the over representation of LGBTI people in mental illness and suicide statistics highlight that there is more to be done to improve our mental health status.  Join us as we acknowledge all that has gone before and as we work in collaboration to realize the vision of the National Mental Health Commission that all Australians achieve the best possible mental health and wellbeing.

“Not long ago a public language did not exist to talk about gay and lesbian lives.  This is also true for bisexual, trans and intersex people whose public visibility and rights have also slowly evolved. Finding their own story and creating a unique personal script which goes against many of the dominant scripts in our society is an important part of what is called the “coming out process” but which is also an important process of “coming in” to a sense of their own person”