Frontline youth mental health service ReachOut is calling on all public figures to put mental health and inclusiveness at the fore when it comes to public statements, and to declare zero tolerance of discrimination against LBGTQI+ people in Australia.

Threads on ReachOut’s peer support forums attest to the fact that comments by public figures can have a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQI+ young people.

This is cause for significant concern in light of research by ReachOut indicating that 40 percent of young LGBTQI people seeking help are at high risk of suicide – almost double the rate for their heterosexual peers.

Notably, 35 percent of ReachOut users identify as LGBTQI+ and during the marriage equality postal survey the service saw an increase in young people seeking help.

Chief Executive Officer of ReachOut Ashley de Silva said this is a time to celebrate progress.

“People around Australia voted a resounding ‘Yes’ when it came to marriage equality sending a clear message of equality and progress.”

“It’s distressing that some public figures continue to make comments that discriminate against LGBTQI+ individuals and communities. These comments have real consequences and can impact mental health and wellbeing.”

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