Victorian LGBTI mental health advocate Rob Mitchell has vowed to push on with a rival mental health fundraising campaign, Homovember, placing an advertisement in today’s Star Observer calling for support.
The advertisement, which is likely to cause controversy, shows a picture of a dead body with a rainbow tag tied around the toe, saying, “Cause of death: neglect”.
“A dead bro grows no mo”, the advertisement says.
“All the millions of dollars raised by ‘Movember’, none of the funds are specifically targeted to GLBTI people.
“We will only reduce GLBTI youth suicide by funding programs we know work.”
Mitchell is calling for people to drop their support of mental health fundraiser Movember for the gay and lesbian-specific Homovember campaign.
Movember raised $10 million last year for national mental health initiative beyondblue.
In the past, beyondblue has been criticised for a muted response to LGBTI mental health issues. Beyondblue chair Jeff Kennett also faced a backlash last month for remarks he made about same-sex parenting.
“There is no substitute for parents of both genders,” Kennett wrote in a recent Herald Sun opinion piece.
“Happy heterosexual marriages are the best environment for the mental health of children.”
This week, Melbourne LGBTI radio station JOY94.9 distanced itself from claims it would support the Homovember campaign.
JOY met with Movember chief operating officer Jason Hincks and beyondblue deputy CEO Dr Nicole Highet on Monday following newspaper reports the station would back the rival fundraiser in protest at Kennett’s comments on same-sex parenting.
Since the Monday meeting, JOY president David McCarthy has interviewed Kennett.
The interview will broadcast on JOY94.9 at noon today.
Last night JOY released a statement saying Kennett wanted to work with the community.
In what appears to be a backflip on his views on same-sex parenting, Kennett said in the interview that, “children need a loving relationship with their parent, or parents, irrespective of their gender or sexuality”.
JOY president David McCarthy told the Star Observer he was “comfortable and confident” Kennett was speaking genuinely.
Comedian and Triple J presenter Tom Ballard is running a petition calling on better leadership from Kennett on LGBTI mental health issues.
Lifeline can be reached on 13 11 14 and The Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service can be contacted via 1800 184 527; Melbourne 03 9827 8544; Sydney 02 8594 9596; Brisbane 07 3017 1717.