LGBTQI+ Programs Youth Projects has a proud history of providing programs and services that respond to the unique needs of young people in the LGBTQIA+ community. Here at Youth Projects, almost a third of our workforce identifies as being part of the LGBTQI+ community - so our work in this space is more than just work, it’s deeply meaningful to us. As well as embedding more inclusive and LGBTQI+ frameworks across all of our programs, we have a range of LGBTQI+ specific programs available for young people across Victoria. Youth Projects is recognised as a Rainbow Ready Workplace by the Victorian Government, and we are currently working towards an official Rainbow Tick. Some of our current programs include: Rainbow Youth Mental Health First Aid Training In 2022, we partnered with The Mental Health Coach to deliver a rainbow-specific response to the mental health crisis in Victoria to empower young people with evidence-based skills to respond to mental health crisis and equip them with the knowledge and skills to better support their peers when they’re going through tough times. This grant has allowed us to deliver LGBTQI+ Mental Health First Aid training to more than 60 young people across metro and regional Victoria, with hundreds more being trained into 2023. This is funded through a Healthy Equal Youth grant from the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria. To find out more about our LGBTQI+ Mental Health First Aid training or to express interest in participating, please head to our program page. Sustainable Communities Grant In 2022 we were successful in receiving a grant from the Department of Families, Fairness, and Housing, to underpin our sustainability in the LGBTQIA+ space. Over the course of 2022 and 2023, Youth Projects will be undertaking extensive community engagement across three key regional areas including Bairnsdale, Ballarat, and Bendigo to better understand the specific needs in each region and create tailored and targeted responses to the challenges young, LGTBQI+ people experience. As part of this engagement, we will be running three, cost-free LGBTQI+ Mental Health First Aid training programs in those local communities. If you're keen to find out when we're coming to a location near you, please sign up to our mailing list. Youth Advisory Group Our Youth Advisory Group (YAG) provides us with invaluable insight into services and current program gaps within the community and helps us improve service delivery for our clients. Our YAG members are involved in regular consultations on issues that directly impact young people both at Youth Projects and in the broader community. Our YAG has been involved in many LGBTQIA+ programs and activities, including facilitating events for IDAHOBIT, Wear it Purple Day, Trans Awareness Week, and more to support our LGBTQIA+ community. Several of our YAG members were invited to Parliament House to meet with Naomi Simmonds, the Youth & Community Partnerships Coordinator. Whilst there, they had a deep-dive conversation about LGBTQIA+ rights - Young voices amplified and pathways opened after visit to Parliament House. You can read more about the YAG here. Cost-free (pop-up) Sexual Health Clinic During 2022, we piloted a pop-up Sexual Health Clinic in Melbourne's north to provide targeted, innovative, and flexible responses to a growing rise in STIs - creating a safe, judgement free space for young people to access cost-free health assistance. Our team of doctors and nurses have extensive experience in sexual health and are committed to providing our community with confidential and non-judgemental access to free sexual health services. Services included: Routine STI checkups Testing and treatment for people with sexually transmissible infections Medicare bulk-billed service to patients A nurse assessment and GP consultation And, open access to chat with a team of healthcare professionals about any other assistance Making Kind Cool Again We teamed up with Australian for-purpose clothing retailer - Kind is Cool - to promote kindness and PRIDE amongst Australians whilst raising critical funds to support for young, LGBTQIA+ people experiencing disadvantage and homelessness. People are able to purchase Kind is Cool's PRIDE series apparel and know that profits are going directly back into LGBTQI+ support services. You can read all about this exciting partnership and campaign in our News section. Keen to know more, or looking to collaborate? Join our mailing list or get in touch with Nick McEwan-Hall (LGBTQIA+ Program Manager) via email or call 0410 582 747.