The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant stress for LGBTIQA+ young people, with social isolation, changes to services, insecure work and housing.

This Wear It Purple Day, Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) in partnership with the Victorian Government, is proud to open the 2020 round of the Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) Grants to provide $10,000 of support for initiatives aimed at supporting LGBTIQA+ young people’s mental health and wellbeing through COVID-19.

“In response to this pandemic, we recognise the disproportionate impact on LGBTIQA+ young people and we aim for the 2020 HEY grants to give rise to new opportunities and hope for the future,” said 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 on improving LGBTIQA+ youth mental health and well-being, particularly considering the changes to services during COVID-19.

"This Wear it Purple Day, we want to celebrate the strengths and ideas of LGBTIQA+ young people in our community and support them through COVID-19 and beyond."

Over 10 years, HEY Grants have supported over 99 organisations with $1.1 million funding to assist LGBTIQ+ young people's mental health and well-being. HEY Grants are part of the broader HEY initiative, delivered in partnership by YACVic and the Victorian Government to bring together 16 key organisations to collaborate and work together on improving mental health and wellbeing outcomes for young Victorians.

The grants support LGBTQIA+ young people and community organisations (both specialist LGBTIQA+ and mainstream youth organisations) to undertake mental health promotion and community engagement activities which focus on LGBTIQA+ young people.

There are two categories, Youth-Led grants 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. YACVic will be hosting a free, accessible Grants Writing Workshop for anyone interested in applying for Round 10 of HEY Grants on 17 September.

“Communities are critical in creating LGBTIQA+ acceptance and supporting better mental health outcomes for LGBTIQA+ young people,” said Derm.

“I would highly encourage organisations who work with young people with disability, young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to apply.”

To learn more about HEY Grants, simply go to yacvic.org.au/hey

Media contact: Thomas Feng, YACVic Media and Communications Manager, 0431 285 275

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.