Bega Valley’s only youth-led pride festival is back again this year, aiming to break stigma while having a spectacular time.
The Rainbow Wave Festival celebrates the local LGBTQI+ community with entertainment, workshops, service stalls, market stalls and more in December.
Last year’s event had to be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but will be held in person in 2022.
The festival was born three years ago with plans to raise awareness of the local LGBTQI+ community and celebrate the diversity of the region.
But one of the reasons it’s held is because mental health statistics still overrepresent LGBTQI+ people, largely due to discrimination.
Festival organizers said: “The tide is changing and acceptance is growing, but not fast enough.
“Change starts from scratch within communities like ours.”
A disproportionate number of LGBTQI+ people have worse mental health outcomes and a higher risk of suicidal behavior than their peers, according to the LGBTQI+ Health Australia (LHA) October 2021 report.
For example, compared to the general population, LGBTQI+ people are about six times more likely to experience or become depressed, and 16- to 17-year-olds are about five times more likely to attempt suicide. young people were more than four times more likely to attempt suicide. hurt yourself.
Sadly, 25.6% of LGBTQI+ people aged 16 and 17 have attempted suicide.
The experiences of LGBTQI+ adults during the COVID-19 pandemic were explored in another report released last month by the LHA and La Trobe University, suggesting that “the pandemic has made an already difficult situation even worse.”
One-fifth of survey participants temporarily or permanently quit their jobs, two-thirds felt their mental health worsened, and 56% sought help from a mental health professional.
Also, 17% experienced partner violence and 29% experienced family violence during the pandemic.
“Immediate action is needed to reduce health disparities and prevent further deterioration of the well-being of the LGBTQ community,” the report recommends.
The 2022 Rainbow Wave Festival will take place on December 3rd from 2pm to 6pm at the Aucklands Events Center in Pambula.
Click here for details and tickets.
Anyone in distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or Head to Health, our digital mental health gateway.
If you are worried about suicide, if you live with someone who is thinking about committing suicide, or if you are a bereaved family member of a suicide, suicide callback service Available on 1300 659 467.