Recent reports have demonstrated that the responsibility for providing suicide prevention in LGBTIQ+ communities frequently falls on peers with little or no training in responding to a mental health crisis. Powerful LGBTIQ+ community leaders and changemakers within these peer-led spaces are not always recognised for their efforts. This session is a collection of their stories, speaking to their work as leaders as well as their needs and recommendations.
Elle is a passionate mental health advocate and social justice activist across a multitude of organisations and sectors where their focus is radical inclusion, destigmatisation, and structural change for the benefit of LGBTIQ+ folks. They are a community presenter for Black Dog Institute, on the Expert Advisory Committee for MindOut at LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, a volunteer for Switchboard, a graduate of the Equality Project LGBTIQ+ Leadership program, ASIST certified and they devote much of their extra time at work to co-design and lead initiatives like the Gender Equity SAGE accreditation, LGBTIQ+ inclusion to the electronic medical record data governance processes, and groups on campus that support the wellbeing and inclusion of LGBTIQ+ workers. Elle's lived experience as a non-binary and bi+ survivor coupled with their lived experience of suicide, and being the descendant of Holocaust survivors, informs their empathetic and bold style of leadership in their community. As a peer supporter and champion of change in health care and community spaces, Elle seeks to strengthen the support and visibility for LGBTIQ+ leaders both seen and unrevealed.
Dashie Prasad (they/them) is a grassroots community activist and student unionist. They’ve been the Queer and Environmental Officer at their SRC, as well as the National Union of Student’s LGBTQAI+/Queer Officer in 2020. They spend their time organising communities around mutual aid, solidarity and justice lines. They believe in non-hierarchical and anti-capitalist principles in the activism they do.
Megan is a queer crip living on Ngunnawal Land (Canberra), they live with their partner of 15 years and their fur kids. They are a performer, visual artist, producer and teacher. Megan's art is the thing that keeps them safe and relatively sane, given their illness (ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia) and ongoing isolation from queer communities. You'll often find them covered in cats, crocheting and watching Netflix.
Johnny Valkyrie (they/he) Johnny is a public speaker and LGBTIQ+ activist working and living in Dharawal Country. Johnny wants to see multiple voices in community given a platform to speak and encourages services to seek new speakers from community, speakers with complex and untold stories, who deserve to be heard.
KJ Tan (they/them) is a researcher working in Wurundjeri Country in Victoria. They are currently completing their PhD looking at the strengths of trans and gender diverse people of colour - hoping to flip the script on how trans people are often portrayed.
Alex Dalton (he/him) Alex Dalton is a youth representative and leader from Wurundjeri down in Victoria.
Target audience: Mainstream mental health professionals, LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations and people with lived experience.