For the first time, staff and consumers from Western Australia participated in Perth's annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) culture and community, known as PrideFest.
A small group of Neami supporters marched in the Pride Parade on Saturday 22 November holding a large Neami banner featuring our logo and message 'improving mental health in local communities' along with the pride flag. Participants held placards expressing our organisational values.
Our participation recognises the sex and gender diversity of Neami staff, consumers and the communities where we work. It also acknowledges the proven link between LGBTIQ people and a range of mental health impacts that stem from discrimination, prejudice and hostile community attitudes.
CEO, Arthur Papakotsias, said 'Neami National works in local communities across Australia, supporting people experiencing mental illness to live full and meaningful lives based on each person's own values, strengths and goals.
'We embrace diversity in our staff and consumer groups and acknowledge the negative impacts of discrimination and prejudice on the mental health of sex and gender diverse Australians.
'We are proud to participate in PrideFest 2014 and to do whatever we can to make our community a more caring, inclusive and equal place for everyone.'
Earlier this year, Neami signed up as a supporter to the No to Homophobia Campaign and is currently undertaking a project looking at the quality of our responsiveness to diversity in a range of areas, including sex and gender identity. More information on this project will be made available in the near future.