Merri Health's Midsumma 2021 virtual stall

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Welcome to our Midsumma virtual stall!

Merri Health is a Rainbow Tick accredited organisation which means that we provide safe and welcoming spaces and have inclusive policies and procedures to make sure everyone feels safe accessing our services.

Each year, we've loved being involved in the Midsumma Festival and getting to know our broader community. Due to COVID-19, Midsumma has turned virtual, which means we're here for a cyber-chat!

On this page, you will find:

What we’ve been up to in support of the LGBTIQA+ community:

Services to support you:

If you'd like to learn more about what we do, or wish to get in touch to be involved, you can reach out by calling 1300 637 744 or email us at info@merrihealth.org.au

Enjoy!


Thousands of students stand against discrimination - the Domino Effect  

Thousands of Victorian students came together to form a human rainbow in support of inclusive and safe communities for Wear It Purple Day in 2019.

Captured from above by a Victorian Police helicopter, students from Coburg High, Brunswick South Primary and Pascoe Vale Girls College created largescale human art forms. The footage formed part of the Domino Effect, a short film that promotes active bystander actions to address bullying and discrimination of LGBTIQA+ people.

Choreographed by Merri Health’s community development officer Russ Pirie, the event was optional for students and part of an ongoing partnership with Victoria Police.

“To see so many students stand up for inclusive communities was incredible. It shows that students understand the need for safe spaces,” said Russ.

The event follows the completion of bystander training by students at participating schools, delivered by Merri Health.


Good health starts with safe spaces  

This is why we're calling on everyone to come together to create safe spaces in their community so everyone feels welcome and safe.

As a Rainbow Tick accredited health provider that proudly supports and advocates for LGBTIQA+ communities, we're calling on you to help us create safe spaces in the community for anyone that identifies LGBTIQA+. 

People that identify LGBTIQA+ experience poorer mental health and higher rates of suicide than the broader community. They are also are at higher risk of some health conditions and may not access support or services due to fear of discrimination. We hope to change this but need your help! Let's work together to create safe and inclusive spaces for all. 

We have just launched our very Instagrammable window decal! Head to 493 Sydney Road, Coburg to see our colourful display.

Take a photo of you pretending to hold the balloons and post to social media with the hashtag #RainbowHealthMatters to show that you support safe spaces for the LGBTIQA+ community.

We’d love to read why #RainbowHealthMatters to you – share your message on socials media and tell us why #RainbowHealthMatters.

You can also tag MerriHealth on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn if you would like us to see your post.

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You can find a bunch of tips and resources on being an ally here.

Our Safe Spaces tram was made possible by the Yarra Trams Community Partnerships Program. It helped us spread the message and looked amazing while doing it!

The rainbow tram ran on the 109 line from 19 December 2019 until 31 March 2020.


Rainbow warriors unite!

Moreland played host to one of its largest rainbow events as part of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

The live art exhibition saw more than 500 Moreland students and locals take part in the large-scale filming which we've released today, in support of IDAHOBIT. Messages of support are  projected via a choreographed exhibition using rainbow umbrellas and captured via a drone.

Merri Health’s YGLAM project officer Russ Pirie said that the rainbow procession showed Moreland’s commitment to creating a safer and more inclusive community.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to come together and show that they care about the wellbeing of queer people living in Moreland, creating safe spaces for all,” said Mr Pirie.

Moreland Mayor Cr Helen Davidson said that the video release of the event will ensure Moreland continues to acknowledge and accept our queer community beyond IDAHOBIT.

“It is so important that we come together not just when IDAHOBIT comes around, but every day.

“Moreland's diversity is one of the municipality’s greatest strengths and that is something to celebrate,” said Cr Davidson.

IDAHOBIT is an annual celebration of sexual and gender diversities, raising awareness of the violence and discrimination experienced by this group.

The event is led by Merri Health’s queer youth ensemble YGLAM and supported by Moreland City Council. It marks the anniversary of YGLAM’s social media campaign This Campaign Is Queer that supports young queer people via social media connections.


QHealth  

QHealth is a free counselling and support service for people who would like to talk about the concerns or impacts of their alcohol and drug use in a confidential, non-judgmental and queer-affirmative space. 

We’re committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, gender diverse, intersex, queer and questioning (LGBTIQA+) communities. All QHealth counsellors are LGBTIQA+ identifying.

Hear from people who have used this service:

Find out more here.


Queer Youth Theatre  

A space for young queer people to come together and explore sexuality and gender identity through artistic means.

Known as YGLAM, we provide a safe space for queer young people to express themselves.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to  help support young LGBTIQA+ people by holding fun and engaging sessions online where we played games, got creative, relaxed and connected socially. These sessions are all about having fun, but YGLAM is also a safe place a safe place to practice and explore different skills without judgement.

Activities included story-telling and poetry, character creation, game nights, self-care and wellness and so much more!

Hear from young YGLAM members about why they joined, what they get up to in the group, and what skills they have learnt:

Find out more.