LGBTQI students are at high risk of mental health problems, including anxiety disorders and depression. Queer specific initiatives are being introduced at Australian Universities to combat the statistics. Matthew Allen is an LGBTQI ally at Deakin University, a concept introduced to the University in 2017. As an ally, he is trained to provide support to LGBTQI staff and students. “Universities that are safe, encourage people to do whatever work they need to, to overcome stigma, to be proud, to have pride in their identity, and the more that that happens, the more that I think our society is a safer, kinder and basically more inclusive place”, Allen says. Data from the national study on the sexual health and wellbeing of LGBTQI young people, Writing Themselves In 3, suggests that same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse young people are more likely to feel safe and less likely to engage in self-harm or attempt suicide in schools that have introduced policies and practices that recognise and value sexual and gender diversity.

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