In an attempt to reach out to LGBTQI+ Victorians impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, Thorne Harbour Health on Wednesday announced the launch of its Rainbow Connection Service. The project will offer LGBTQI+ Victorians services including “peer support and assistance with food and housing issues”.

Simon Ruth, CEO of Thorne Health Harbour says that many LGBTQI+ people have lost jobs and are struggling financially or with their mental health as a result of COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social change in our community that has seen many people being isolated from usual connections and support. Thorne Harbour Health’s Rainbow Connection program is here to fill the gap for the many LGBTQI+ people who find themselves without adequate support or struggling with food or housing security,” said Ruth.


THH, formerly the Victorian AIDS Council, currently runs a community support program for LGBTIQ seniors and people living with HIV. The Victorian government will support THH for the next three months to extend this program to “LGBTI people who are isolated or impacted by COVID-19”.

“We know that maintaining meaningful connections to the community has a profoundly positive impact on people’s sense of self, feelings of anxiety/distress and general wellbeing. For this reason, and to address the challenges caused by the physical distancing measures in place, Rainbow Connection actively links isolated LGBTQI+ people with the services and supports they need to get by during this time,” added Ruth.

The state-wide volunteer-driven COVID-19 Rainbow Connection service can be accessed by dialing 1800 961 780 or via email [email protected] on weekdays from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.

Find, THH advisories, including the Sex and Intimacy Info sheet here.

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