Lean on Me study


30 June 2020 to 30 June 2021 

Funding Amount:




Melbourne Macedon Ranges Yarra Moonee Valley Darebin Maribyrnong Hobsons Bay Wyndham Brimbank Moorabool Melton Hume Merri-bek


The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) conducted a study into the role of peers in providing mental health crisis support to those within the LGBTIQ+ communities.   

The final report entitled Lean on Me: Exploring suicide prevention and mental health-related peer support in Melbourne’s LGBTQ communities was published in August 2021. 

The research addressed these questions: 

  • What is the nature of mental health and suicide prevention-related support provided by peers or community leaders within LGBTIQ+ communities?
  • What is their lived experience of providing this support, including any experience of emotional labour, burn-out or cognitive burden, and how can they be supported to reduce or manage this?
  • How can such peers or community leaders be supported in their roles in terms of identifying, responding, and referring at times of mental health crisis?
Artwork from the Lean on Me study report.


The research report demonstrates suicide prevention and mental health-related peer support is extensive and vital in LGBTIQ+ communities in Melbourne. Such informal support can involve a person being there for a friend, partner, colleague or even stranger during a mental health crisis, including when they are suicidal. The report provides recommendations for how to better support people who are in peer-support roles. 

Read the evaluation report for the Lean on Me study below and learn more about how this project was evaluated.

Services involved