FOR RELEASE
10 October 2017

Mental Health Services Embrace LGBTI Inclusive Practice

Richmond Wellbeing is today celebrating becoming the first organisation in WA to achieve Rainbow Tick Accreditation. The achievement recognises the success of the organisation in meeting the six national standards of LGBTI inclusive practice and service delivery.

The need for the development of more LGBTI inclusive mental health services was highlighted to the organisation by evidence of the over-representation of the LGBTI communities in the mental health statistics.

Richmond Wellbeing CEO, Neil Guard comments, “The researc clearly shows that the poorer mental health outcomes for LGBTI communities are directly related to the psychological distress that can occur as a result of experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination, abuse and exclusion in relation to their LGBTI identity, experience or history. Letting the LGBTI community know that they are accepted and welcome and that we will cater for their specific needs is what all service providers and the community need to be striving for, not simply satisfied with an absence of discrimination.”

“Consequently, Richmond Wellbeing has committed itself to providing a more LGBTI inclusive approach to address the heightened risk factors of poor mental health, including suicide. This achievement is a testament of the dedication and commitment of Richmond staff in providing inclusive services that meet the needs of these communities.”

Richmond Wellbeing partnered with GRAI (GLBTI Rights in Ageing Inc.) to build its capacity to work inclusively with the LGBTI communities and to support the cultural change that eventually led to the Rainbow Tick Accreditation.

A partnership with the National MindOut Health Alliance also culminated in Richmond Wellbeing appointing a LGBTI Champion and gaining access to the expert support and resources provided by the Alliance.

Chair GRAI, June Lowe congratulated Richmond Wellbeing on the Rainbow tick achievement, adding “This is an historic milestone in creating safe spaces for LGBTI people accessing mental health services in WA and it was an absolute honour to work with this visionary organisation, taking the lead in LGBTI inclusive services in Perth, to help gain this important accreditation.”

Neil Guard adds, “The Rainbow Tick reflects Richmond Wellbeing’s commitment to LGBTI pride, diversity and inclusion. We will continue to build on our knowledge in this area and work alongside the LGBTI communities to achieve better mental wellbeing outcomes and to promote more inclusive practices across the sector.”

Recent Australian research suggests that individuals who identify as LGBTI are more likely to experience mental health issues, and have poorer levels of overall health than the general population.1 1 Leonard, W., Pitts, M., Mitchell, A., Lyons, A., Smith, A., Patel, S., Couch, M. and Barrett, A. (2012) Private Lives 2: The second national survey of the health and wellbeing of LGBT Australians

The National LGBTI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy 2017

-ends-

For more information contact:
Jenny Coyle  |  Devahasdin  |  T: 9226 2222  |  E: jenny@devahasdinpr.com.au

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