COVID-19 is a major public health crisis, but its effects are far more than the spread of the virus itself, such as the knock-on effect that preventative social distancing measures have had on the closure of LGBT+ support groups and services.
To combat this, many LGBT+ charities and organisations have gone digital in order to continue providing vital services, while also keeping the community entertained. Here are just a few support groups available to the community during the coronavirus pandemic. If you are an LGBT+ support group who would like us to share your details with the community, please get in touch.
Despite all face-to-face services being closed, BeLonG To are currently providing a number of services remotely such as information, referral and advice by phone, email and SMS through Youth Workers, as well as the continuation of their Crisis Counselling Service with Pieta House which will operate digitally.
Dublin Lesbian Line are doing their utmost to keep in touch with everyone who uses their service. One new service DLL are providing are bi-weekly webinars. They will be hosting a Self Care Webinar in collaboration with Under the Rainbow next Wednesday, May 13 at 7pm, which will give tips on caring for your mental health during this strange period.
HIV Ireland have also gone digital but have urged those who think that they may have an STI to get checked at services that are still holding screenings. Furthermore, the team have compiled information about HIV, sexual health and the coronavirus online, and are available to help answer questions and alleviate some of the stress around the current crisis.
INTO LGBT+ Teachers’ Group have also been working overtime to provide support to the LGBT+ community through their online platforms and have introduced new initiatives for parents, students and teachers, including the Different Families, Same Love Competition.
LGBT+ Health South Tipperary have begun to work remotely in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. The group are now offering support via phone through text and WhatsApp as well as online via email. Furthermore, they will be hosting online Zoom LGBT+ support groups in lieu of in-person meetings. Starting next week, they will host an LGB group every Tuesday at 7 PM, and a trans group every Thursday at 7 PM. As well as this, LGBT+ Health South Tipperary will also be moving their ‘coffee and chats’ to Zoom in the near future.
LGBT Ireland volunteers are continuing to offer support and provide information to the community at a digital capacity while restrictions are still in place. On the link, you can find information on the different support lines still available to take your calls, as well as instant messaging support.
LINC are continuing to provide support and information online, as well as providing entertainment for the community while everyone is confined in their homes. Make sure to visit their website to keep up to date with their wide range of events and services.
The Outcomers Drogheda team will be transferring their informal, confidential monthly Drop-In sessions online over the Zoom app.So if you are an LGBTQ+ adult from the Drogheda area looking for support, information or just looking to socialise then check them out.
Rainbow Project Belfast are available through their social media accounts and will be celebrating LGBT Awareness Week with events, talks, training, and social activities. Alongside this, the week will highlight the full range of organisations providing advice, support and information services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community in Northern Ireland.
ShoutOut have moved their LGBT+ workshops online so people can still avail of the service despite employees working from home. Moreover, ShoutOut continually updates their social media with community news and provides support and information, a factor which has not changed since COVID-19.
The Small Trans Library is a small lending library of trans-authored books for trans people, with branches in Dublin and Glasgow. In response to the current crisis, both branches of the Small Trans Library have created groceries and supply funds for trans people who are out of work or struggling. Check their social media for more information.
Struggling with the cost of food, medication, rent? The library is running an emergency fund for trans people during the COVID-19 crisis that you can access no questions asked. Over 2000 euro redistributed in Ireland so far pic.twitter.com/s9UYywwojv
— Small Trans Library Dublin (@smalltranslibr) April 24, 2020
Galway’s Teach Solais is keeping in touch with the community with a phone line operating on weekdays, as well as their social media accounts. They have also been hosting Zoom meetings in place of their Drop In days.
A reminder that we now have a number that you can text or call us on, Monday to Friday from 12pm to 3pm! The number is 089 253 8476. Alternatively you can contact us on any of our social media or email us at [email protected] 😊 pic.twitter.com/3QuMMHWZY3
— Teach Solais (@TeachSolaisLGBT) April 23, 2020
TENI have been continuing to offer support and advice online for transgender people during lockdown, from advice on self-injection to sharing events and other support groups such as LGBT+ Health South Tipperary. TENI have been doing their bit to keep the community connected during the coronavirus outbreak as well as offering support virtually.
The #ThisIsMe campaign has gone digital, with the group continuing to demand adequate, safe and best practice access to healthcare for all transgender and non binary people in Ireland.
GCN (Gay Community News)
At GCN we are continuing to provide news and entertainment to the community online while our print magazine is on hold for the time being. We’ve also created a range of new initiatives and events to keep the community together and entertained while we are all apart.
Stay safe xx
© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
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