ARCSHS awarded $2 million through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF)

The grant enables ARCSHS researchers to support improved health outcomes for LGBTQ+ people by examining the role and impact of LGBTIQ-specific organisations providing mental health and AOD support

The MRFF grant was awarded to ARCSHS for work optimising the role and impact of mental health and alcohol or drug (AOD) services and programs delivered by LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations in Australia.

Many sexuality and gender diverse people experience challenges relating to their mental health, alcohol or other drug use, and health providers can struggle to understand and respond to the unique needs of this group. Sometimes the best support is provided by LGBTIQ-specific organisations and this project will examine how effective these organisations are at meeting these health needs and how we can draw on their strengths and make better connections with other organisations to improve health outcomes for LGBTIQ+ people.

Over 4 years, the project will map and articulate the AOD and mental health services and programs delivered by these organisations all across the country before conducting in-depth exploration of their unique characteristics and strengths. Mixed method research with LGBTIQ+ communities will examine how, when and why they do (or do not) engage with community-controlled organisations during times of need, while a further phase of work will seek to understand and optimise their role within complex health systems.

ARCSHS Director, Professor Adam Bourne welcomed the announcement.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to receive this major grant. It provides a valuable and unique opportunity to explore how best we can meet the health needs of LGBTIQ+ communities. There is an amazing partnership of organisations and people involved and we’re all excited for what we can accomplish together,” Professor Bourne said.

LGBTIQ+ community-controlled partner organisations include Thorne Harbour Health, Switchboard Victoria, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, Minus 18, Twenty 10, TransFolk of WA, Working it Out, A Gender Agenda, Trans Gender Victoria, Meridian, Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, Living Proud.

ARCSHS is also pleased to be working on this project with colleagues at the Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, WA Country Health Service and the University of Exeter in the UK.

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