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Participant recruitment and follow-up surveys  have now been completed. We are grateful to everyone who took part!

A study exploring lesbian, bisexual and queer women’s (cisgender and transgender) health and wellbeing and the relationship with smoking, drinking and using drugs.


We created UnLEASH to explore lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women’s health and wellbeing and the relationship with smoking, drinking and using drugs.


We designed a longitudinal study as we want to understand how your health and wellbeing, and the factors that impact you, change over time. A snapshot does not tell us enough.


We made it a national study because it is important that we understand different experiences across the country.


We will share our findings with organisations that provide health and support services to LBQ women so they can improve LBQ women’s access to appropriate services. We will also share our findings with everyone who participates in the study and is interested in seeing them.

If you participate, you will be able to receive personalised confidential results based on your surveys. You can also enter a prize draw for each survey you complete.


Am I Eligible?

To be eligible to participate in UnLEASH, you need to:

  • Be aged 16 years or older

  • Identify as lesbian, bisexual, queer, or another non-heterosexual identity (e.g. pansexual)

  • Identity as a woman (cisgender or transgender)

  • Currently live in Australia

  • Provide your email address and/or phone number (see below). 


You don't have to give us your name. Your email address / mobile number will not be stored with your responses to the questionnaire.

We do not collect IP addresses.


What's involved?

If you join the study, you will complete 3 online surveys: one now, a very similar survey in 3 months and another one in 12 months.

The survey covers the following topics:

  • General information about you (demographics)

  • Tobacco, alcohol and other drug use patterns and behaviours

  • Health and wellbeing (including mental health topics such as depression & anxiety, experiences of trauma & feelings about self harm)

  • Experiences of discrimination and stigma due to being LBQ

  • Intimate relationships and any experiences of intimate partner violence

  • Health service access and use

  • Community and social connection

  • Your thoughts about follow-up studies



If you have any questions about the study or about participating, please ask us.  Direct your inquiries to the UnLEASH study team at


If you have any questions or concerns after participating, please contact Dr Sonja Memedovic, Chief Investigator, on the above email or on +61 2 9385 0326.

If you have a complaint regarding any aspect of the study or the way it is being conducted, please contact the UNSW Human Ethics Coordinator:


Phone: +61 2 9385 6222


HC Reference number: HC200711.


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The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) is a premier research institution in Sydney, Australia and is recognised internationally as a Research Centre of Excellence. NDARC was established at UNSW Sydney in May 1986 and officially opened in November 1987.


Our overall mission is to conduct and disseminate high quality research and related activities that increase the effectiveness of treatment and intervention responses to alcohol and other drug related harm.


Click here to find out more. 

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