MindOut is a project run by and run for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer people. Their mission is to improve the wellbeing of LGBTQ people who experience mental health issues. They want to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage a positive attitude with the community. MindOut acknowledge a whole host of issues that come hand-in-hand with bad mental health, isolation and low-self esteem; stigmatisation and persecution; disadvantages due to their sexual orientation such as housing, education, employment etc; hate crime and community safety issues and welfare rights issues. Multiple studies have been done that show those who identify as LGBTQ can be at a higher risk of experiencing mental health problems. There are often links made between discrimination, bullying, homophobia, bi-phobia or transphobia and bad mental health issues. Despite living in a somewhat accepting city, these problems are still rife. There’s a drinking and drugs culture in Brighton that inherently leads to negative mental health. Whilst that isn’t an issue only within the LGBTQ community, MindOut aim to help those suffering for whatever reason may have led them to ill health.
Last week it was announced that the Brighton-based charity has been shortlisted for the UK wide Charity Governance Awards 2018. They are in the running for the Board Diversity and Inclusivity award which comes with the prize of a £5000 unrestricted grant. The CEO of the charity Helen Jones said “we are delighted to be shortlisted for a Governance Award for the second year running! Our Trustee Board has worked really hard this year and developed and grown, I am so pleased we have national recognition for their work”.
Their website is a haven of help. MindOut delivers independent, impartial, confidential, non-judgemental and free services. They have advocacy services which enable LGBTQ people to make informed choices and express their views with a special service specifically for trans people. There’s a provision of advice and information on a full range of topics that could affect an LGBTQ person as well as peer mentoring which matches people with lived experience of mental health with a trained volunteer who can support them through their choices. There’s a plethora of resources available at the charity including a range of suicide prevention techniques and interventions, one of which is a “facilitated suicide prevention peer support group for LGBTQ people who have experience of suicidal distress”.