Scotland: LGBT counselling service to shut on New Years Day

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Scotland’s only dedicated LGBT telephone counselling service is to close after 35 years as a result of funding cuts.

The Strathclyde Gay and Lesbian Switchboard (SGLS) was set up on Union Street, Glasgow, in 1977.

In a statement, the SCLS said: “With homophobia, bullying and discrimination still highly prevalent, it’s clear why a service such as SGLS is needed.”

SGLS coordinator director David Thomas confirm the service would stop taking calls on 1 January.

He said: Changing times, improvements in health promotion, the application of equality duties due to legislation changes and some shrinkage in funding meant all funders had to ensure they targeted their funds at those services which can have maximum impact on the health area being tackled.

“In the case of Glasgow our type of support service is viewed as covered by the in house counselling service delivered by professional counsellors.”

According to the Herald Scotland, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it ceased funding as it was already funding two other groups providing a similar service.