Richmond Wellbeing is pleased to announce our support for a new LGBTI health strategy from WA Health. The strategy is the first of its kind, setting out clear priorities and outcomes for the health system over the next five years.
The new strategy was developed with extensive input from the local LGBTI community and health service providers to better address LGBTI physical and mental health care needs. A broad cross-section of LGBTI people were involved in the development of the strategy through a series of face-to-face community conversations and online surveys. More than 600 submissions were received, detailing the priorities individuals from the LGBTI community would like to see addressed.
The final strategy identifies six priority areas to help lead to better health outcomes for LGBTI people over a five-year period.
1. Promoting accessible and inclusive health services
3. Affirmative practices
4. Access to LGBTI specific resources and services
6. Education and training
Up to 11 in 100 Australians may have a diverse sexual orientation, sex or gender identity, and many face discrimination, exclusion and stigma. These are all key factors that may influence mental and physical health and wellbeing. LGBTI populations have higher rates of depression, attempted suicide and substance abuse. Gay, lesbian and bisexual people are also more likely to smoke daily, misuse pharmaceuticals and consume alcohol in risky quantities compared to the heterosexual population.
The new strategy will support existing LGBTI health services and initiatives, including:
- A gender diversity service for young people up to 18 years’ old which provides assessment care and treatment (where appropriate) for issues relating to gender dysphoria and gender identity.
- Rainbow Tick accreditation (achieved by Royal Perth and Bentley hospitals in May) which formally recognises their support and respect for the LGBTI community.
Health Minister Roger Cook said:
“LGBTI people are at greater risk of experiencing marginalisation, persecution and disadvantage. Hundreds of voices were heard through the development of this strategy and we listened to the issues raised.
“Hearing the health experiences LGBTI people and learning how we can try to improve their experience of the health system is all part of this Government’s commitment to putting patients first.
“We now have a roadmap for the next five years which will help remove barriers for LGBTI people when accessing health services in WA, promote leadership, understanding and inclusivity and lead to important change.”
As a wellbeing service provider, Richmond Wellbeing works hard to build capacity with organisations like WA Health. We offer our unwavering support for this initiative, and we hope to see further funding for LGBTI health down the line in order to continue working with these organisations as our current funding comes to an end.
Richmond Wellbeing CEO, Adrian Munro, commented “RW is not an LGBTI specific provider, however, providing a service that is safe, approachable and welcoming for the LGBTI community is our core business. We believe that this should be the commitment of every service provider because creating a more inclusive community is everybody’s business”.
Richmond Wellbeing is Rainbow Tick accredited and has employed an LGBTI champion. We continue to work to embed LGBTI inclusive practice into every facet of our business. “We look forward to working in partnership with the LGBTI community to implement this plan and see improved outcomes for the LGBTI community”, said Adrian.