4 Million A Much Needed Boost For Rainbow Community
We understand that the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern is set to announce $4 million dollars to support rainbow young people and their mental wellbeing, with the bulk of that funding going towards rainbow community organisations.
We expect Ardern to make this announcement at the Big Gay Out on Sunday 14th February, as part of Auckland Pride - a popular event for previous governments to make announcements about the rainbow community.
Recent research shows that Aotearoa’s rainbow communities, especially our rainbow young people, are underserved and over represented in negative health and wellbeing outcomes. Qtopia welcomes this funding and the recognition from the government of the front-line work our rainbow community organisations are doing.
The 2018 Counting Ourselves study showed that 71% of transgender and gender diverse people in Aotearoa experience high levels of psychological distress, compared to 8% of the general population. The New Zealand Mental Health Monitor found that rainbow people were lower for seven out of nine wellbeing measures when compared to the general population.
Qtopia has a membership of over 700 rainbow people regularly accessing their services, with 100 young people attending their weekly youth group. Membership grew by more than 200 members every year for the last 3 years, and demand on Qtopia’s services continues to increase.
“We know what a difference Qtopia makes in the lives of the people we work with,” says Alice Andersen, Executive Director. “For some of them, our groups are the only place they can be themselves.”
“Organisations like Qtopia have been on the front line of rainbow wellbeing for decades without consistent funding. We look forward to the stability and security this funding will bring for our community.”4 million a much needed boost for rainbow community.