Queerwell is a South African based and focused NPO that aims to provide access to mental health services to the Youth Queer community with special focus on those in townships and rural areas. To achieve this, the organisation raises donor funding locally and internationally to be able to engage LGBTIQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning and Queer) communities who need these services and also contract professional gender sensitive mental health service providers.
LGBTIQ+ people can be at a higher risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the wider population. More commonly: depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse and suicidal feelings. The reasons for this although not fully understood but will usually be linked to discrimination, bullying, homophobia, transphobia or biphobia.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. LGBTIQ+ youth have been shown to contemplate suicide at least 3 times the rate of heterosexual youth. Access to mental health service for this community is a big challenge in South Africa. Lack of finances, discrimination, prejudice, denial or civil and human rights, harassment and family rejection are still tragically common for people with LGBTIQ+ identities.