SYDNEY, Australia — A mental health program specifically designed for same-sex-attracted youth has been developed and is now being tested online in Australia, the Gay News Network reports.
Out & Online has been funded by beyondblue, a depression treatment agency, and was put together by a team of researchers from Swinburne University of Technology, Federation University Australia and Deakin University after consultation with mental health experts and same-sex attracted youth.
It’s hoped that having the resources online will assist young adults, particularly from rural or isolated areas, get the help they need, the Network article reports.
“Research has shown that same-gender attracted young adults experience higher rates of mental health problems when compared to their opposite-gender attracted peers,” Dr. Jo Abbott from the National eTherapy Centre (NeTC) at Swinburne, said in a statement.
“This has been strongly linked to experiences of discrimination resulting from homophobic attitudes present within the wider community. These problems are intensified for gay and lesbian youth living in rural areas, where access to relevant information, resources and services can be even more challenging.”
This is the first program of its kind to focus entirely on the needs of same-sex-attracted youth aged 18-25 and at the moment is undergoing a research trial. Feedback from the trial will be used to improve the program, the Gay News Network reports.
The program is available free of charge and as it is developed further it will become more widely available as part of Swinburne University’s online mental health clinic, Mental Health Online.
More information is available at outandonline.org.au.