From Iceland — Four Million ISK Grant To Educate And Counsel LGBT Community

Four Million ISK Grant To Educate And Counsel LGBT Community

Published May 6, 2021

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Svandís Svavarsdóttir, Minister of Health, has given a grant of four million ISK to the National Queer Organisation (Samtökin ’78), for an education centre for those who are in the LGBT community.

The grant will be used for counselling and education on the issues of gay and trans people.

Daníel E. Arnarsson, executive director of the organisation, told Frettablaðið that the grant will be very useful. The organization has a 15 million ISK service agreement with the Prime Minister’s office, which is not enough for the services provided by the organization.

Educate and advise

At the National Queer Organisation, amongst the duties covered are queer people and those who are unsure of their sexual orientation are given advice.

Daníel says the grant is intended for special counseling for transgender people, professional assistance to doctors and nurses at Landspítali, increased information in the field of sexual health and “not least to combat social isolation and poorer mental health among our clients.”

Numbers on the rise

Daníel goes on to say that attendance at the association has increased enormously in recent years. “In the last five years, our counselling has grown by 538%. A lot of that is where marginalized groups come to us for advice,” he says.

In the association’s annual report for last year, it can be seen that between 2019 and 2020, there was a 47% increase in the number of those who accepted counselling from the organisation. Last year, 506 people took advice from the association.

Asked about the reason for this increase, Daniel says: “The reason is increased discussion and increased awareness.”

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