Leading Health Organisations Sign Up To Become More LGBTI Inclusive
Leading health and wellbeing organisations have come out in support of a ground-breaking program which aims to make service provision more responsive to the needs of LGBTI people.
Pride in Health + Wellbeing is a new program that’s all about making service provision within the health, human services and wellbeing sectors more inclusive of LGBTI people. A national membership-based program, Pride in Health + Wellbeing will provide partners year-round support, training and guidance in LGBTI inclusive service delivery.
The significance of the initiative has already been recognised by a broad range of leading Australian health organisations, which have signed up as foundation members of the program. These include Uniting, Medibank, Flourish Australia, Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network, Reliant Healthcare, Lifeline Australia, ViiV Healthcare and NurseWatch.
Pride in Health + Wellbeing has been developed by ACON, NSW leading HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI health organisation, as part of its Pride Inclusion Programs.
Dawn Hough, Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, says by working in partnership with service providers in the health, human services and wellbeing sectors in delivering quality LGBTI inclusive programs and services, we can achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes for LGBTI communities.
“Australian LGBTI communities and individuals are extremely diverse and face a number of shared and distinct health and social inclusion issues,” Ms Hough says.
“We also know that when LGBTI individuals require access to health and wellbeing services, they often hit more roadblocks, refrain from accessing critical services, and as a result, experience poorer health and wellbeing outcomes than their non-LGBTI peers.”
Ms Hough says fear of abuse or discrimination forces many LGBTI people to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity when they access health and wellbeing services, leading to an increase in anxiety or depression.
“It’s a very serious issue and providers across the board really need to be taking action to ensure they provide a sufficient duty of care.”
“Tailored programs delivered by Pride in Health + Wellbeing can assist organisations to meet the overall health outcomes of LGBTI people by addressing the health inequalities of LGBTI communities.”
Membership will provide organisations with extensive sector specific support, resources, networking opportunities, training, consulting, advice and frequent interaction with other health and wellbeing sector organisations active in LGBTI inclusive service provision. Any organisation – private, public or non-government organisation – working in the sectors of health and wellbeing, including government departments, hospitals, GPs, aged care, housing, mental health, drug and alcohol, family and domestic violence, and disability services are eligible to join.
ACON President Dr Justin Koonin says the health needs of the LGBTI community have been invisible in health and wellbeing policies and within service providers despite growing evidence that they have disproportionate needs.
“Over recent years we have seen this incrementally change with many service providers acknowledging that they can do better in caring for all of their clients. These services are now recognising that LGBTI community members do require unique approaches for the delivery of good healthcare and support,” Dr Koonin says.
“Pride in Health + Wellbeing will unite service providers and partner with them to continue to build their expertise and understanding of inclusion. In the future it will be these organisations who will set the gold standard in LGBTI care and truly deliver improved outcomes for all their clients.”
“We’re grateful for the support of Pride in Health + Wellbeing’s foundation members and look forward to other organisations coming on board to address this important issue for Australian health service providers.”
The program was launched at Uniting in Sydney on Thursday 10 August by NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health, Leslie William MP, and leading LGBTI health advocate Prof. Kerryn Phelps.
For more information, visit prideinclusionprograms.com.au.
For more information please contact:
David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications Officer
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +61 (02) 9206 2044 M: +61 (0)428 477 042