61.6% of Australians may have voted in favour of same-sex marriage, but the mental strain the entire undertaking took on gay communities cannot be underestimated.
ReachOut Australia released new online resources on the day of the results, and a number of Australia’s leading youth mental health organisations put out a joint statement, saying in part: “We know the distress caused by the postal survey does not end with this result, and remind young Australians that mental health services and support are available.”
In light of this very real damage done across the country, Greens leader Richard Di Natale has written to Malcolm Turnbull to call for increased funding, especially given that $20m allocated for the same-sex marriage survey remains unspent.
“It’s time that the government acknowledges the harmful effects of the ‘no’ campaign on the LGBTIQ community,” Senator Di Natale wrote.
“I urge you to immediately redirect these funds in support services for the LGBTIQ community, particularly for young people, to respond to the issues being experienced as a direct result of the government’s decision to undertake the postal survey.”
ReachOut found that five of the country’s top mental health services were met with a 40% surge in calls from young gay people during and in the immediate wake of the survey and the related campaigns.
Young people going through a tough time can also visit any of the 100 headspace centres across Australia or visit their website.
You can also find a number of resources for help-seeking here on the Black Dog Institute’s website.