Mental health support can change – and literally save – the lives of LGBT+ people in Brazil. But, for many of them, there’s just no accessible way to find safe support. It's either too expensive or there's no availability through public services. It’s also hard to guarantee whether or not therapists will be LGBT-friendly.
That's why in late 2020, we launched Acolhe LGBT+, an online platform that connects LGBT+ folks in Brazil with licensed psychologists who have volunteered to help for free.
Check out this video from our project coordinator, Carú, explaining what we're doing:
Since we launched the platform, our main challenge has been bringing in more therapists to volunteer with us. So we've invested significant time and energy in promoting it far and wide in Brazil.
For Mental Health Day, for example, we hosted an Instagram live with Brazilian rapper Jup do Bairro. It was a really powerful conversation and, if you understand Portuguese or Brazilian sign language, we recommend you watch it!
In May 2021, with support from Brazilian brand Havaianas, we also launched four open classes for psychologists who wanted to learn more about ethical care of LGBT+ people – and were watched by nearly 6.000 people. You can sign up to watch the classes here (available in Portuguese and Brazilian Sign Language).
The project was also featured in popular podcasts in Brazil. Click here to listen to the episode of Já Pensasse? on Spotify, where our project coordinator Carú talked about Acolhe and mental health for LGBT+ people (in Portuguese).
That work paid off and we were able to clear our waitlist. We also reached the amazing milestone of having 1,000 LGBT+ matched with a psychologist.
You can see the platform here: acolhelgbt.org
Besides the matching functionality, the platform also provides a map of initiatives and services that provide psychological and legal support to LGBT+ people around Brazil, built collaboratively by 40 volunteers.
Acolhe LGBT+ is a project developed by All Out, incubated by our partner organization Nossas and developed with the support of TODXS, an LGBT+ startup in Brazil.