ACON receives funding to help deliver support to regional LGBTI communities

ACON President Dr Justin Koonin; NSW Minister for Mental Health, Women and Ageing the Hon. Tanya Davies MP; RUOK Ambassador Craig Mack and ACON CEO Nicholas Parkhill are excited to deliver new programs through ACON.


ACON has received a share of the NSW Government’s $8 million Suicide Prevention Fund.

The LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual) community is one of the most at-risk communities in terms of suicide attempts, with LGBTQIA+ youth from 16 to 27 five times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.

Due to stigma, past trauma and social isolation, many members of this community struggle with mental health.

ACON is NSW’s largest LGBTI+ health organisation and has spent over 35 years working to create opportunities for people in their community to live their healthiest lives, striving to be a global leader in community health, inclusion and HIV responses for people of diverse sexualities and genders.

ACON’s Acting Director of Community Health, Teddy Cook spoke to News Of The Area about this funding and how ACON is working to help regional and isolated members of the LGBTI+ community.

“Part of this funding is to help us increase the level of our services for people who are in crisis and people who have recently made an attempt.

“We will be providing ‘aftercare’ support which helps support counselling, care coordination and peer support, which we are very excited about.

“We know that when people are linked into inclusive and affirming mental health support, they are considerably less likely to experience suicidality,” Teddy said.

This part of ACON’s service will also include a care coordinator and a peer worker based out of the Newcastle office that will provide support to regional communities in the Myall Coast and Port Stephens’ region through Telehealth.

“For the first time ever, we’ve been able to receive enough funding to develop a state-wide program that can target these regional areas,” Teddy said.

The second stream of funding received is to develop the first website of its kind for communities in NSW- an LGBTQIA+, Queer and Transgender friendly mental health and recovery website with access to information and resources, as well as queer education workshops and videos which will primarily be held online.

ACON are excited to be able to provide this support to the community to help bring down the suicidality and mental health risks for members of the LGBTI+ community.

For more information on the services and support available through ACON, head to their site:



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