Life in Mind is proud to introduce our newest Champion: Charlie Willbridge from the National LGBTI Health Alliance. We asked Charlie to share some insights on the National Communications Charter (The Charter) and what it means to be part of the Champions Group leading its dissemination.
Charlie Willbridge is the Suicide Prevention Officer at the National LGBTI Health Alliance. They joined the Alliance in 2015 with the National Mindout project and came to the role with extensive experience within the LGBTI sector. Charlie has studied at the Australian College of Applied Psychology, Curtin University and UNSW. Their combined 20 years of experience in counselling, community work, health promotion and retail business and team management gives them a holistic approach to their work and a diverse understanding of issues affecting the social services, health and welfare sectors in Australia.
Why did the National LGBTI Health Alliance sign the Communications Charter?
As the national peak agency for LGBTI health, the National LGBTI Health Alliance signed The Charter to support a united approach to using safe language and reducing stigma associated with suicide.
LGBTI people experience higher levels of mental health distress and suicidal ideation which can be associated with the levels of stress faced by the community from a number of factors, including stigma and the derogatory use of language.
What led you to work in this space?
My story isn’t unique, like many others unfortunately, I was exposed to the grief experienced when losing someone by suicide. As I got older and became part of the many LGBTI communities I realised the disproportionate rates of mental distress and suicide ideation experienced by LGBTI folk compared to the general population. This along with my own lived experience encouraged me to divert my career into the community health sector.
Working at the LGBTI Health Alliance goes beyond supporting people experiencing mental distress and allows me to advocate and create change in a larger sector development way, which can ensure all LGBTI folk can get access and receive inclusive care and change lives.
What does being a Life in Mind Champion mean to you?
Being a Champion and promoting The Charter provides me with a great opportunity to ensure LGBTI people and communities are represented as we work together to reduce stigma, embed inclusive language and reduce suicides in Australia.
The National LGBTI Health Alliance is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people (LGBTI) and other sexuality, gender, and bodily diverse people and communities. They highlight that people’s genders, bodies, relationships, and sexualities affect their health and wellbeing in every domain of their life.
Life in Mind has a comprehensive list of national resources, information and services available to support the LGBTI community. Visit https://lifeinmindaustralia.co...