Staying Respectful of Diversity

An environment of safety and inclusion is something that we all want in our families, community and workplaces.
Right now, our society is in the midst of a debate on marriage equality. We’ve seen, heard and read anti LGBTI+ messages in the media and in society. One result is that LGBTI+ community and allies are exposed to negative messages and conversations about LGBTI+ people.
The impact is real. Research from the United States shows that the mental health of LGBTI+ people suffer significantly during these debates on marriage equality, with anxiety increasing by up to 248 per cent (that’s not a typo, 248 percent) and cases of depression by over 35 per cent.

Tips from ACON

If you are part of the LGBTI+ community and need access to confidential support, here are some services available:

  • QLife – Free national LGBTI+ phone and web counselling, coast to coast. 1800 184 527 |
  • LifeLine – 24/7 Crisis Support & Suicide Prevention Services. 13 11 14 | 
  • #staystrong tips from ACON, click on the attached image and visit their website!

To cope with the negative messages, LGBTI+ community & allies may rely and depend upon their family, friends & colleagues. What can LGBTI+ allies do to support colleagues, family & friends?

  • Acknowledging the potential impact on people;
  • Checking in with identifying people, provide reminders of support available;
  • Sending a strong message of inclusion;
  • Knowing what is and what isn’t a respectful debate on the postal survey;
  • Calling out non-inclusive language;
  • Keeping up to date with the campaign on marriage equality;

In addition, you can also consider doing or advocating for the following within your workplace:

  • Profile the diversity work within your business;
  • Reiterate your workplace values supporting inclusion & respect;
  • Send a strong message of inclusion as a leader.

Let’s work together to create an open, inclusive and safe community and workplace.
Cover image: Shutterstock

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