Mental Health Complaints Commissioner

Out and About at Midsumma

Superheroes, fake tattoos and minty chap sticks – all part of the MHCC’s Midsumma Carnival information stall on January 18.

Midsumma is one of the world’s top five lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) arts and cultural festivals and the Midsumma Carnival is one of its most iconic events.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual Australians are twice as likely to have high levels of psychological distress than their heterosexual peers (18.2% vs 9.2%), are much more likely to experience anxiety disorders (31% vs 14%), and at least 36.2% of trans and 24.4% of gay, lesbian and bisexual Australians experienced a major depressive episode in 2005 (compared to 6.8% of the general population)*.

Our team were out and about spreading the word that it’s okay to speak up about mental health issues and experiences with mental health services.

Our life-sized superheroes let people know ‘It doesn’t take superpowers to speak up’ and were a popular attraction, with Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley MP and Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissioner Kate Jenkins joining in the fun.

But it wasn’t all fun and games – many people shared their experiences of dealing with mental health issues and asked about the MHCC’s role in dealing with complaints.

We’ll be at more events throughout the year so keep an eye out for details on our website or social media.

*Source: 2013 briefing paper from the National LGBTI Health Alliance