A live online forum exploring the resilience of LGBTQ communities and their ability to adapt to the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, will be hosted by NSW’s leading health organisation for sexuality and gender diverse people, ACON.
To be held on Thursday 17 September from 5.30pm to 7pm, the ACON COVID Resilience Forum: In This Together will focus on the mental health issues relating to the coronavirus pandemic, and how LGBTQ people can build upon their resiliency to manage the stresses and isolation many may be experiencing, as well as deliver messages on keeping safe, accessing support and staying connected.
The panel features a range of clinical experts, health care professionals and prominent community members, including:
· Panda Cheong, Psychologist
· William Trewlynn, Founding Director and CEO of BlaQ
· Shiva Chandra and Rishi Sharma, members and co-founders of FOBGAYS
· Garrett Prestage, Associate Professor at The Kirby Institute
· Jenna Roberts, Deputy Commissioner of NSW Mental Health Commission and Director of Wagga Wagga Family Support Service
· Michael MacKay, Counsellor, ACON
The online forum will also feature performances by Newcastle drag icon Timberlina and Lismore performer Queer Spinster Aunt.
While COVID-19 is affecting all Australians, various communities are experiencing unique impacts of the pandemic and social restrictions.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the virus is having a profound effect on LGBTQ communities: “We are aware many in our communities are finding the current environment challenging and difficult. The changes and disruptions have had a significant impact on our daily lives.”
“For many, it has heightened the sense of isolation and disconnectedness, which have had negative consequences on our mental health and wellbeing.
“With this forum, we aim to bring people together, to rally around each other and share stories of resilience, adaption and survival.
“Local health experts will be on hand to provide information and resources around LGBTQ mental health, and tips on supporting and strengthening resilience and wellbeing.
“This virtual event is a chance for LGBTQ people in NSW to come together and connect with others,” Parkhill added. “We encourage everyone in our communities – wherever you are across the state – to join in and be part of the conversation.”
ACON COVID Resilience Forum: In This Together is on Thursday 17 September from 5.30pm-7pm. For event details and registration, visit the ACON website here.