This morning, the Australian Bureau of Statistics declared that 61.6% of eligible Australians who expressed a view, voted YES to marriage equality.
This is a momentous day in Australia’s history and an important step forward in removing some of the discrimination which impacts negatively on the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTI people.
Everymind Director, Jaelea Skehan said she is pleased with the results and the important contribution that marriage equality could make to the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBTI community.
“As an Institute that is dedicated to mental health and suicide prevention, it is really pleasing to see that a majority of Australians have voted to remove the marriage discrimination that impacts on people who are in a same-sex relationship."
“We know that any law or practice which excludes people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity can have significant impacts on their mental health.
“At Everymind, we stand with our mental health and health colleagues in highlighting the benefits of a more inclusive and respectful society where all people are valued,” said Jaelea.
Everymind would like to acknowledge the LGBTI health services, and youth mental health organisations in particular, for the role they have played in recent months to support the community through the vote, and thank them for the role they will continue to play until the law is passed.
While the announcement today brings happy news for many in our community, work still needs to be done to pass the vote into law and a range of conflicting views and opinions will continue to be shared over the coming weeks.
At Everymind,we are encouraging all people to keep conversations respectful and to continue to support each other.
“We know that the vote has taken an emotional toll on many in our community, with many family and friendship groups tested over the past two months.
“It would not be unexpected to have people feeling drained, flat and overwhelmed today, rather than joyous and excited as they may be expecting to feel.
“It is important that we keep all conversations respectful and continue to look after ourselves and check-in with others over the coming days and weeks.”
There are a range of services and supports available to anyone who may need them.