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Alex is committed to government transparency and accountability; protecting the natural and urban environments, open space and Sydney’s unique heritage; retaining inner city social and affordable housing; the humane treatment of animals; improving transport options; and fairness and equality for the LGBTI communities.

Headspace Wollongong

(Support for Motion, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament) 

I commend the member for Kiama for moving this motion and I shall speak briefly in support of it. Headspace does amazing work across the country and is particularly supportive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] community in the areas in which it works. Headspace has dedicated teams focused on providing important counselling and support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.

That is vitally important because research shows that suicide rates are up to 14 times higher for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people than their heterosexual peers—and even higher for younger and Indigenous lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Headspace provides particular support and services for them. Approximately 80 per cent of young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people report suffering verbal and physical abuse at school. Headspace does important work particularly for youth. Those who have been abused are three times more likely to think about harming themselves.

In the inner city and in my electorate of Sydney, many service providers support the gay and lesbian community from a mental health perspective. Indeed, the inner-city areas are some of the most welcoming and tolerant of gay and lesbian people, particularly gay and lesbian youth. But that is not necessarily the same in all areas. Young gay and lesbian people in areas such as Wollongong can feel isolated as they do not have the same access and support as the inner city. That is why the work of Headspace in Wollongong is so important. I thank Headspace for the work it does around the country, particularly in Wollongong, and the outreach and important service it provides. I commend the member for Kiama for moving the motion and I commend the motion to the House.

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