The 11 successful recipients of round 8 of the Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) small grants program gathered in Flagstaff Gardens today to showcase and discuss their planned projects to promote the health and well-being of LGBTIQ+ young Victorians.
Minister for Youth Gabrielle Williams congratulated the recipients and introduced the screening of the film ‘Masked’, which explores issues facing LGBTIQ+ young people and was produced by young people in partnership with round 7 grant recipient, Knox City Council.
The HEY grants program aims to raise awareness, promote acceptance of diversity, eliminate stigma and discrimination and improve mental health in young same sex attracted and sex and gender diverse (SSASGD) people.
HEY Round 8 funding totalling $110,000 will support a wide range of activities in Ringwood, Richmond, Fitzroy, Carlton, Coburg, Epping, Dallas, Beechworth, Swan Hill and Wangaratta.
The ‘Mini-HEY Day’ is an annual event connecting HEY partners with grant recipients and provides a forum for past recipients to showcase how HEY Grant funding was used to support and empower young LGBTIQ+ Victorians.
The annual grants program is administered and coordinated by Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic). To date the program has supported more than 65 organisations to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young SSASGD Victorians.
While most LGBTIQ+ Australians experience good mental health, rates of suicide and poor mental health are much higher among LGBTIQ+ people than for other Australians. This is even more pronounced among young people.
Late last year the Victorian Government announced a Royal Commission into Mental Health – the first of its kind in Australia. The Royal Commission will provide a comprehensive set of recommendations on how best to support Victorians with mental illness, including those at risk of suicide.
The Government allocated a landmark $705 million to mental health in the 2018-19 Budget.
Further information on the HEY Grants and grant recipients is available on the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria website: https://www.yacvic.org.au/get-involved/hey-grants/
As noted by Minister for Youth Gabrielle Williams
“Promoting diversity and acceptance in our community should be a priority for all of us. These grants go a long way towards establishing long-term support networks and eliminating stigma and discrimination from the ground up.”
“By actively supporting young people to live full, healthy and functional lives we’re building a stronger, more resilient LGBTIQ+ community in Victoria for the future.”