Response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland:
LGBT Health and Wellbeing was established in 2003 to improve the health, wellbeing and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland. With offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, the organisation responded to the pandemic by providing new and existing services digitally.
· LGBT Helpline Scotland was extended from 2 to 4 days per week and is available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 12 to 9pm and Thursdays and Sundays 1 to 6pm.
· A Telefriending service has been introduced for LGBT people aged 50 and over in Scotland
· The organisation offers a range of resource on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @seemeproud
· Regular online wellbeing events are facilitated on Zoom including Queer May You Be Well (Facebook group), Wellbeing Café (Monthly catch up) and Fortnightly LGBT yoga.
· There are various Facebook groups offering regular activities for LGBT people in Scotland including queers’ open mic, the big queer quiz, LGBTQ+ language cultural café and queer women’s group.
· Dedicated Facebook groups for trans people in Scotland offer regular online meetups including Trans Social Lounge, Trans Self Care Space and Trans Creativity Hub
· Other online social events on Zoom include Community Games and Community Stories nights
Funding received from the ScotGov ‘Immediate Priorities Fund’ for an additional 2 days per week operation of the LGBT Helpline “and to offer more tailored individual support for particularly isolated members of the community”.
Extra hours of opening on Thurs (1-6) from 19th March; Sundays (1-6) from 19th April.
Data reported so far:
May – 189 engagements (mix of calls, email and chat) increased by 74% YoY
4 in 6 callers are aged 50+, 1 in 6 under 25, 1 in 6 aged 26-49.
Majority of calls relate to emotional support, mental health challenges and suicidal thoughts.