Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lesbian Drop-In Update from Jo

Lesbian drop-ins are on the first Wednesday of every month. We are celebrating our last Drop-in of the year this week (tomorrow!).

Some of us have been pretty social of late including going to the Dyke Dance at Scotty and Mal's.
We continue to get 2 to 3 new women attend each month and there is always lots ot share.

Although we are a diverse group there are pockets of similar experience ie leaving longterm straight relationships for the greener pastures of the lesbian lifestyle...

We provide support to each other and by listening and sharing our stories. We would like to have a film evening over the holidays and most of us enjoy music so we send out emails for joint ventures and just see who shows up.

For more information you can email me at jo.morrison.nz@gmail.com

I also had an opportunity to chat about sucide and depression with the School's Out Group recently and am availble to do facilitate discussions with these groups from time to time. Thanks for having me along I enjoyed meeting you.

A Big thanks to Leonie and George for cofacilitating The Drop-In.

Happy Solstice and Christmas Greetings to all Queer Beings out there.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Year-end wrap-up from Chris, WGWG's co-chair

The meeting in Sydney with a similar group to ours was reassuring in that they were experiencing many of the same changes in the way that their services were meeting community needs (see the previous blog entry).

I was interested in their role in providing alcohol and drug counselling services that are not exclusively targeted to the queer community.

They work out of a large house in central Newtown funded for a bequest some years ago. Having a base like this makes it easier for them to run this type of counselling service, with enough space for the phone helpline service, drop-in groups, staff office space. They also rent space to a queer youth group called Twenty10.

I think this raises issues we need to consider in our future strategies. The recent AIDS Foundation review identified the lack of mental health support as a major gap.

An observation from my limited experience is that mainstream drug and alcohol help services are not set up to dig past the obvious… so I suspect that the chances of a queer client getting any acknowledgement or help with deep seated problems arising from being queer are low.

What is the future role of our group? The strategy meeting early next year is a good opportunity for us all to debate what we see as important ways we could change. I hope you can all come alone and participate. Chris

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Visit to Sydney's GLBT Helpline

By coincidence Chris and Stu were in Sydney in November so they headed to the inner west suburb of Newtown to visit New South Wales’ gay & lesbian counselling service. Fiona Paskulich was a great host.

Here are some points that stood out:

- They take about 1300-1600 calls a year. About 60% of callers are male, 32% women and 8% Trans.
- Up to 20% of their calls come from rural areas where isolation and loneliness is a big theme.
- They have around 25-30 active counsellors in total (70 actual members).
- They support a men’s and women’s coming out group. The men’s group is changing its approach to re-energise the membership. They are also directly involved with a drug and alcohol recovery programme (not specifically GLBT).
- A separate GLBT youth organisation, Twenty10, is housed in the same building.

Chris and Stu left with the impression that the GLCS of NSW is doing a great job. Surprisingly, they are not too different to us at WGWG and are facing similar issues. It’s quite motivating to know we have sister organisations out there who are so friendly and are willing to share ideas and approaches with us.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Schools Out Update

For last Wednesday's schools out in town we had Laressa as a guest speaker to talk about some safe sex and sexual health resources for people starting university.

This week Jo is guest speaker on depression and suicide, and after that Carl will be talking about drugs and alcohol. We also had a discussion of stress not long ago.

All the people at School's Out seem to be making friends with each other, which is great! The Kapiti School's Out group is also doing well, everyone attending is really happy to have a queer support group in the area.

Anyone wanting information about the Kapiti group can contact School's Out on 0277 639 793, or contact Kapiti Youth Support.


Monday, November 1, 2010

New ads on Google & Facebook

On October 15th our promotion team, Promohomos, started a new advertising campaign on Google and Facebook. The below blurb is an example of some of the ad wording you’ll see when you use google search words like ‘gay’ and ‘Wellington’.

Our facebook/google ad budget was $600. We pay when people actually click on the ads, not by how many times they are shown. For Google we pay nearly $2 per click. So if you're a WGWG member make sure you don’t click or we could end up paying 1/3 of our total ad budget just so our members can see our own website :-)

Already our Google ads have been seen over 50,000 times and our Facebook ads have been seen over 270,000 times. This has resulted in a record number of visits to our website – there were 570 in October!

Coming Out? Confused?
We’ve been there. (04) 473 7878
Wellington Gay & Lesbian Helpline