Statement on Postal Survey and Public Discussion on Marriage Equality
Lifeline is aware that the processes surrounding the postal survey and public discussion on marriage equality are distressing for some people.
Several organisations in mental health have experienced noticeable increases in contacts from people who need support as a result of these processes. Lifeline has also had calls and contacts recently to its national crisis support services that reflect this need.
Lifeline urges individuals, families, organisations and social networks to ensure that public comment and private advocacy surrounding marriage equality is undertaken in a respectful and non-discriminatory way, without words and images that reflect prejudice and stigma towards others.
A frequent issue in crisis calls and contacts to Lifeline is a person’s experience of exclusion, rejection and discrimination. It is well documented in research and theory that a person’s mental health and suicidality can be adversely affected by these experiences.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Australians are estimated to experience up to 14 times higher prevalence of attempted suicide than the broader population. LGBTI people also have higher prevalence of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. LGBTI people experience discrimination, violence and harassment disproportionally in Australia.
Lifeline is there for all people. Lifeline crisis support services (phone 13 11 14 and online chat at www.lifeline.org.au) are confidential and accessible services.