Society in general is more accepting of sexual and gender diversity but the fact that Rainbow students are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers shows there's still a long way to go.
Inspired by the support she received at her Nelson high school from a pioneering diversity group, Tabby Besley is working hard to improve the experience for LGBTQIA+ students while at school.
InsideOUT, the organisation she founded and directs is fighting back against a spectrum of exclusionary behaviour; from teasing to school uniforms, from bullying to bathrooms.
In 2015 she received a Young Leader Award from the Queen at Buckingham Palace and this week she made the shortlist for the Young New Zealander Of The Year award.
Where to get help:
- Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.
- Lifeline: 0800 543 354 - available 24/7 or text HELP to 4357
- Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) - available 24/7.This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
- Youthline: 0800 376 633
- Samaritans: 0800 726 666 - available 24/7
- Kidsline: 0800 543 754 - available 24/7
- Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 - available 24/7
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.