A proposal for funding to research depression in same-sex attracted young people has been rejected for the third time by national depression initiative beyondblue.
The draft submission was put forward by the WayOut Youth Project earlier in 2009, however, the group was notified it was unsuccessful just two weeks before the peak depression body held a roundtable meeting into GLBTI mental health issues in Melbourne on December 17.
WayOut coordinator Sue Hackney told Southern Star she had been informed, despite working closely with beyondblue staff on the proposal, the application did not meet beyondblue’s guidelines.
“It’s extremely frustrating because for the previous two months I’ve been working in close consultation with [beyondblue] staff to ensure our application was meeting their guidelines as it was going through various draft stages,” Hackney said.
“It’s very similar to the previous two occasions … and then being told with no or a very vague explanation that it’s been unsuccessful.”
Since 2004 WayOut has submitted three applications for funding, including requesting a $25,000 annual grant in 2005 and another application in 2006.
Hackney said the most recent proposal for $100,000 for two to three years included research in partnership with the Australian Research Centre for Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), youth suicide prevention group the Inspire Foundation, the Foundation For Young Australians and several other groups.
“I’m getting extremely frustrated and finding it difficult to understand how the organisation works because clearly there is a breakdown in the information they’re giving out to organisations such as ourselves,” Hackney said.
Beyondblue CEO Leonie Young told Southern Star the proposal had been turned down because it did not meet beyondblue’s research guidelines and included money for servicing rather than research or evaluation.
“The proposal that was put forward included some evaluation, but it was also for other matters that related to services and that’s the part we can’t fund and it’s always been so,” Young said.
“We don’t fund camps or administration or cars, or services. We fund research, we fund evaluation… there was a component related to evaluation, but it wasn’t a research proposal. It was around supporting, which is entirely outside the funding we have, it was for the youth services itself.”
Young said youth services funding is the responsibility of state and territory governments and she’s had preliminary discussions with the ARCSHS to develop a GLBT research-only proposal for the next funding round in March.
Recently WayOut received $30,000 annual funding from the state Government, as a result of a concerted push from the GLBTI ministerial advisory council and gay rights advocate Rob Mitchell. Hackney said this won’t cover costs, with the WayOut Rural Youth Council grant winding up in February.
Hackney expressed frustration last year at WayOut’s constant struggle for funding after three gay youth suicides in rural Victoria in 2009.

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