WayOut is a Cobaw Community Health program which promotes the rights, mental health and wellbeing of same sex attracted, intersex, bisexual, transgender and gender diverse (i.e. * LGBTIQ+) young people and families in rural Victoria, predominantly in the Macedon Ranges. WayOut is funded by the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services as part of the Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) partnership.
* lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and sexualities and genders other than heterosexual and cisgender.
WayOut focuses on health promotion, community capacity building and development, youth participation, leadership and design. The model involves young people forming partnerships to implement change in their local communities.
WayOut provides a range of services including:
- Support and referral for individuals, their families and friends
- Providing information and education for professionals – including teachers and health care professionals, youth services and community organisations
- Facilitating a youth group in the Macedon Ranges Shire
- Organisation and delivery of community events.
The Youth Affairs Council (YACVic) auspices the HEY partnership which comprises organisations that provide a range of services for LGBTIQ+ young people across Victoria. The HEY partnership helps build the capacity of each of these organisations, and increases the reach and quality of their services.
In practice this means that if a person who identifies as LGBTIQ+ accesses a HEY partner organisation (e.g. Cobaw) they will be given information on and links to services provided by other HEY funded organisations where appropriate, for example if a parent of a trans or gender diverse child needs to be linked in with other parents we would refer them to Parents of Gender Diverse Children (PGDC). At the same time, the HEY Project aims to provide links and referral pathways between local and mainstream services, improving the capacity of these mainstream services to meet the particular mental health and wellbeing needs of the LGBTIQ+ community.
Cobaw Community Health Services Ltd acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.