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Launching at ChillOut Festival, Daylesford in March, 2018, is VAC’s new health promotion campaign, Reach Out, Reach Up, focussing on lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women and alcohol culture in regional areas of Victoria.

The Reach Out, Reach Up project is part of VicHealth’s Alcohol Culture Change Initiative, which aims to change cultures of risky drinking in Victoria. Research has found that middle-aged LBQ women were more likely to be drinking alcohol at harmful levels and also showed alcohol use was often used as a coping mechanism for dealing with discrimination and isolation which also contributed to mental health issues. As part of VicHealth’s Initiative, our vision is to see more people socially supporting one another to reduce risky drinking, resulting in reduced harm for themselves, their family and friends, those in the vicinity and the broader community.

Working with the LBQ women’s community in the regional areas of Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Morwell, VAC aims to explore and understand more about the perceived cultures and assumed norms within the LBQ women’s community, and how these might influence drinking behaviours. Collecting and sharing personal stories from LBQ women as part of the campaign is a huge step forward in addressing some of the health issues that LBQ women face.

If you have a story you want to share with VAC, we’d love to hear it!

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