Queensland Health is supporting a ‘no-harm’ campaign to protect the mental health of the LGBTI community in the lead up to the postal vote on marriage equality.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said an extra $338,000 in funding would provide assistance for four non-government organisations (NGOs) to manage any increase in demand for services.

“We’re providing a one-off funding boost to Lifeline, Kids Helpline, Queensland AIDS Council and Open Doors Youth Service to help them deal with this extra demand until the end of November, once the survey is complete,” Dick said.

“This is our ‘no-harm’ campaign.”

Dick said there was no doubt the vote and surrounding campaign would impact the mental health and wellbeing of some vulnerable LGBTI people.

“The LGBTI community told the Turnbull Government that this plebiscite presents a very real potential to expose harmful and homophobic comment at a personal and community-wide level,” he said.

“While the Prime Minister has ignored those concerns, the Palaszczuk Government is responding, providing these funds to boost NGO services.

“It’s vital that people are able to access these organisations throughout the campaign, and in the weeks following the outcome.

“We want any person struggling with the debate to know they can reach out and seek support.”

Queensland director for the Equality Campaign, Peter Black, said the Equality Campaign welcomes the additional support from the Queensland Government.

“Discrimination has an impact on mental health and wellbeing, and any efforts made to remove discrimination—as well as supporting LGBTI people’s mental health and wellbeing during this process—is welcome,” Black said.

“Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTI people at a time when their lives are under intense public scrutiny is vital.

“LGBTI Australians are incredibly resilient and it is important during this time, especially, to look out for one another.”

Black said the Equality Campaign was based on respectful conversations around equality.

“The campaign will continue to advocate in a positive and respectful way until the relationships of all Australians are offered the same dignity and respect,” he said.

“We can’t do everything but we can do this.”

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