With significant mental health reform underway stemming from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, it is crucial that LGBTIQA+ young people have access to the services, social connections and spaces they need for good mental health.

That’s why Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic), in partnership with the Victorian Government, is proud to open Round 12 of the Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) Grants, which provide a total of $100,000 of support for initiatives aimed at supporting LGBTIQA+ young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Find out more and apply now for a 2022 HEY Grant here

There are two grant categories, Youth-Led which are written and developed by young people, and Social Connectedness which provide direct support to LGBTIQA+ young people through initiatives like social support, alliances and activity groups.

“HEY grants provide young people and communities with an opportunity to address the systemic barriers that impact LGBTIQA+ young people. The grants help to improve the supports, services and local programs that LGBTIQA+ young people can access in their local communities,” says Derm Ryan, YACVic’s HEY Program Manager.

“HEY Grants are an outstanding opportunity for young people and community organisations to submit a new project or idea for improving LGBTIQA+ youth mental health and well-being.

“When we invest in LGBTIQA+ young people to live healthy, connected lives, we’re investing in a better future for everyone in Victoria.”

The need for these grants is significant, with the Writing Themselves In 4 report produced by the Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society finding that LGBTQ young people continued to face significant discrimination, and subsequent poor mental health outcomes. Participants in the research were five times as likely than their peers in the general population to have experienced suicide ideation.

Over the past 11 years, HEY Grants have provided $1.6 million of funding to 123 specialist LGBTIQA+ and mainstream youth organisations to undertake mental health promotion and community engagement activities which focus on LGBTIQA+ young people.

The grants are part of the broader HEY initiative, delivered in partnership by YACVic and the Victorian Government, which brings together a network of 16 partner organisations specialising in support and services for LGBTQIA+ young people.

YACVic strongly encourage applications from organisations which work with disabled young people, young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, and underrepresented LGBTIQA+ young people such as asexual young people or young people with intersex variations.

The 2022 HEY Grants (Round 12) will close on 11.59pm Tuesday 4 October 2022, to apply go to: yacvic.org.au/hey

Media contact:  Katia Pellicciotta (she/her), YACVic Media and Communications Coordinator on 9267 3744 or KPellicciotta@YACVic.org.au

Derm Ryan, YACVic’s HEY Program Manager, is available for further interviews.

About Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic)

Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) is the peak body and leading advocate for young people aged 12–25 and youth workers in Victoria. Our vision is that young Victorians have their rights upheld and are valued as active participants in their communities.

YACVic leads policy responses to issues affecting young people, represents the youth sector to government, resources high quality youth work practice, research and advocate on youth issues. We value our members and prioritise their needs.