The CEOs of Australia’s leading youth mental health organisations will unite in an unprecedented show of support for marriage equality on Wednesday 18 October as they bring their #mindthefacts campaign to Canberra.

At a special drop-in session in Parliament House, the CEOs of Black Dog Institute, headspace, ReachOut, Brain and Mind Centre at University of Sydney and Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health will urge Australia’s political leaders to take note of the overwhelming body of evidence showing the negative effects of discrimination on young LGBTIQ people’s mental health.

The #mindthefacts campaign has invited young LGBTIQ people to share their experience and concerns about the divisive public debate on the postal survey. The CEOs will also call upon politicians to get behind the #mindthefacts campaign by taking a picture in a dedicated selfie-booth.

“Dozens of studies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, published over the last several decades from countries around the world all point to the same conclusion: when LGBTIQ people’s rights are restricted, their mental health suffers,” said Professor Helen Christensen, Director of Black Dog Institute, speaking on behalf of the campaign.

“We want to shine a spotlight on the facts so that our policymakers and everyday Australians are armed with the tools to make an evidence-informed vote.

“Evidence from international studies shows that same-sex couples report higher levels of health in jurisdictions with marriage equality . It’s time for Australia to act on the facts to help change thousands of young LGBTIQ lives for the better.”

As the postal survey enters its final weeks, the #mindthefacts campaign will today launch a campaign page featuring key local and international research findings on LGBTIQ people’s mental health and marriage equality. The microsite also includes resources to help same-sex attracted people build resilience and cope with distressing coverage, and factsheets for starting safe conversations to encourage help-seeking for those struggling with their mental health.

“For young LGBTIQ people there is no escaping the negativity of this postal survey debate. Sadly, it has been draining and often dehumanising,” said Professor Christensen.

“It’s incumbent on us as mental health organisations to provide the information people need to look after themselves and others at this critical time.”

The event comes as youth mental health service ReachOut revealed an increase in service demand following the postal survey announcement. Since the end of August, access to LGBTIQ and gender-related content on ReachOut.com has increased by 20 percent.

Read the full release: MEDIA RELEASE Taking #mindthefacts to Canberra

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