“Dyke. Faggot. Poofter.” All too common derisions; the calling cards of schoolyard bullying.
We’ve all been depressed at some stage. The loss of a loved one, a dead-end job, feelings of disengagement. But if you feel like you’re sinking into a bottomless pit, chances are you’re clinically depressed.
GLBTI people suffer depression more than our hetero peers. More than triple. For homosexual and gender diverse kids, it’s higher again.
As SSO reported last week, beyondblue has again ignored queer youth. A sad indictment indeed. We’re not second-class citizens, so why is our country letting us descend into the black hole? Why is bureaucratic homophobia costing lives?
Studies indicate suicide is the leading cause of death for GLBTI youth. It’s estimated over 210 Australians attempt suicide every day. For those isolated in rural areas, numbers are significantly higher. In 1997, Australia recorded the highest youth suicide rate among industrialised countries. And I couldn’t find this info on beyondblue’s website. Why?
This is all kinds of crazy. Is that homophobic numpty with the big hair to blame?
We have awesome community services like Twenty10 and the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service. But the bloody Government needs to bloody do something. Pollies with a vision that only extends as far as their next election shite me.
Depression and suicide need critical attention. Sometimes, all it takes is someone to talk to. Sometimes medication helps. Others may need counselling. It can nearly always be managed. But we need improved resources. And we need them yesterday.
If you’re feeling alone or like you just can’t go on, remember there is help. If you’re feeling suicidal, consider speaking to somebody. Take it from someone who’s been there; things get better. There’s nothing wrong with you. This, too, will pass. And may the blood of our next suicide be on the hands of the numpty with the big hair.
info: If you’re contemplating suicide, or need help with mental illness, contact Lifeline’s 24-hour service on 13 11 14. The Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service can be reached on 8594 9596 from 5.30pm. Young GLBTI people can also contact Twenty10 for assistance through their support line on 8594 9555 or 1800 65 2010.