MindOut is an organisation with advocacy principles at the heart of all our services. LGBTQ+ individuals are more likely to experience difficulties with their mental health, and less likely to be able to access appropriate, timely support. At a time where resources are even more stretched, and accessing basic mental and physical healthcare is even more challenging, the need for independent LGBTQ+ advocacy support is even more crucial. Our team of specialist, professional LGBTQ+ advocates provide a voice to the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our communities. They ensure that our service users are supported to access the essential support they need, that their rights are respected, and that they are included and empowered in any decisions being made about their care or treatment.
With the cost of living crisis deepening, we are seeing more and more members of our communities coming to us for help, and more people facing fuel and food poverty and homelessness. We support a large number of people from trans communities to access essential, life saving, gender affirming support and interventions through our trans advocacy service, and we are developing specific community advocacy support for LGBTQ+ people facing homelessness and currently in emergency accommodation.
Over the past year, we have supported our LGBTQ+ service users through many complex challenges including: housing and homelessness, fuel and food poverty, hate crimes and harassment, domestic violence, self harm and suicide, acute mental health crisis, risk of detention under the mental health act, discharge planning from hospital, complaints about healthcare and social care, challenging discrimination and abuse, accessing trans healthcare and gender affirming treatment, asylum claims, accessing mental health care, exercising their rights, safeguarding concerns, addiction and substance misuse plus many more.
We also regularly provide self advocacy/peer workshops on a variety of topics, online instant access to a specialist advocate throughout the week through our chat service, 1:1 advocacy ‘drop in’ sessions and of course information, signposting and referrals.
In 2023 we are refocusing our efforts to provide our LGBTQ+ communities with exceptional, timely 1:1 advocacy support and interventions, and continue to develop our program of self advocacy workshops and advocacy drop in sessions. We aim to reach even more LGBTQ+ people requiring advocacy support, and empower our communities to understand their rights, speak up for what they want/need, and provide people with the skills, knowledge and confidence to self advocate in the community.
Huge thanks to our incredible advocacy team and the essential work they do!