Rural areas in particular offer a different challenge in this area. Youth that identify as LGBTI, or even have questions about their sexuality can be a problem in our smaller rural communities. They can be subjected to bullying because of their position but worse, they may feel that they can't escape the small schools and communities of which they are a part until they finish Year 12. Obviously in some cases they may not complete their education in order to get away to the city a lot earlier.
We are not saying that rural communities are less tolerant of LGBTI people, but perhaps there are more homophobic attitudes vocalised which can be both hurtful and damaging to people in that cohort. There are those that are less tolerant of LGBTI people for various reasons who can become vocal if their views are challenged.
The Loddon Healthy Minds Network have long sought a poster that could be displayed in schools that was both relatively passive in nature, but at the same time let young people know there was information available. We also wanted to provide them with numbers to call for support. We felt that many of the posters available were a little too confronting for people of opposite opinions. As a result, we developed our own.
Our poster is now being displayed in many schools in our area and we hope its use will grow over time. We invite anyone who wishes to use the poster to download it from the link below and distribute it where it can be of any effect, particularly in your schools and places frequented by youth.
The Loddon Healthy Minds Network would like to acknowledge the talent and work of Maddie Holt in creating the poster for us to use.