A new support group for LGBTIQ people in the Redlands on Brisbane’s bayside is meeting for the first time next month.
Since 2000, the Bayside Initiatives Group (BIG) in Capalaba has supported mental health consumers throughout the Redlands by offering one-on-one and group peer support and providing a welcoming sanctuary where members can feel safe and included.
Belong is a new peer-led group for Redlands locals to come, connect and build a supportive queer network.
“The group came about when a group of peer workers in the Bayside Mental Health Network asked the question, ‘What supports are available in our community for people who identify as LGBTIQA+?’” Belong coordinator Sam Walker said.
“After some research we discovered that the answer was none, nothing at all.”
Sam (pictured, third from left) said BIG will hold the group fortnightly for six months after receiving seed funding from the Brisbane Pride Festival’s Kal Collins Memorial Fund which offers grants to support mental health and suicide prevention in the LGBTIQ community.
“The group is called ‘Belong’ and it’s all about creating a safe space for the queer community to connect, build a sense of belonging and find their tribe,” Sam said.
“The hope is that if it’s successful we’ll be able to attract funding to continue the project long term.”
The Belong group launches on February 22 and will run every fortnight on Thursday evenings from 6pm – 8pm until July 26.
Community members are invited to come along for an introductory meet and greet, a free BBQ and the opportunity have their say in what the Belong group is going to be about.
“We’re currently looking for people who are interested in being involved in the planning and delivery of the group, group participants, or people who would like to contribute in some way,” Sam said.
“The whole idea of the group is that it’s peer-led and driven by the people who participate, so we need your help.”
If you’d like to get involved, get in touch with Sam via email at [email protected] or call (07) 3390 1116 or 0499 747 000.