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News, Victoria

Thorne Harbour Health launches COVID-19 support program for Victoria

LGBTIQ Victorians who are in isolation or otherwise impacted by COVID-19 will now have access to social connection and support services through Thorne Harbour Health’s Rainbow Connection.

The program offers a range of services to LGBTIQ people throughout Victoria, including peer support and assistance with food and housing issues.

“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social change in our community that has seen many people being isolated from usual connections and supports,” said CEO Simon Ruth.

“Thorne Harbour Health’s Rainbow Connection program is here to fill the gap for the many LGBTIQ people who find themselves without adequate support or struggling with food or housing security.

“We know that maintaining meaningful connections to community has a profoundly positive impact on people’s sense of self, feelings of anxiety or distress, and general wellbeing.

“For this reason, and to address the challenges caused by the physical distancing measures in place, Rainbow Connection actively links isolated LGBTIQ people with the services and supports they need to get by during this time.”

With the support of the Victorian government for the next three months, Thorne Harbour Health is able to extend its existing community support program for seniors and people living with HIV to now include any LGBTIQ people who are isolated or impacted by the pandemic.

“Many LGBTIQ people have lost jobs and are struggling financially or with their mental health as a result of COVID-19,” said Ruth.

“Thorne Harbour Health continues to be there for the community with an expansion of our Rainbow Connection program that is providing support to any LGBTIQ person who is struggling with the impacts of COVID-19 in their lives.”

The Rainbow Connection program is a state-wide, volunteer-driven service supporting LGBTIQ people in Victoria.

The service can be contacted between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday, by phoning 1800 961 780 or via email.

Anyone needing other assistance or in other parts of Australia can also refer to our list of community services and resources for help.

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