Our region is home to many people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ).
While LGBTIQ encompasses diverse communities and individuals, LGBTIQ people share generally poorer health and wellbeing outcomes than the heterosexual and cisgendered community.
This is largely because of the stigma and discrimination that LGBTIQ people can experience in their everyday lives, including from the health system.
LGBTIQ People Talk About Their Experiences Accessing Health Care
LGBTIQ communities have specific health needs and some are at increased risk of certain conditions including:
- poor mental health including anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide
- alcohol and other drugs misuse or dependence
- some cancers
- some STIs, including HIV.
We engage in activities to increase the cultural responsiveness and inclusiveness of health services and health professionals working with LGBTIQ people, and to address inequalities in health systems and outcomes. Current activities include:
- quality improvement grants
- alcohol and other drugs support projects
- mental health initiatives
- cultural awareness training for workers in aged care.
Supporting better primary health care for LGBTIQ people
We have produced several training modules and other resources to enable better care for LGBTIQ people. More information on the following training modules is available on our LGBTIQ Support page.
The Trans GP Module
This module – the first in Australia – is designed for general practitioners, practice nurses and medical students to become familiar with and sensitive to the diverse terminology, experiences, health issues, standards, and referral pathways with respect to trans, gender diverse, and non-binary (TGDNB) clients.
Mental health care for trans, gender diverse and non-binary people
This module is designed for a range of mental health professionals to become familiar with and sensitive to the diverse terminology, experiences, issues, standards, and referral pathways with respect to trans, gender diverse, and non-binary (TGDNB) clients. The overarching purpose is to promote more inclusive and responsive service provision for TGDNB people in mental health care settings.
National Suicide Prevention Trial – LGBTIQ community
NWMPHN has been running a LGBTIQ Suicide Prevention Trial since July 2017. The trial is one of 12 national population-based suicide prevention trials funded by the Australian Department of Health.
As LGBTIQ Australians have significantly poorer mental health outcomes and suicidality, and recognising that there is a large community within our region, NWMPHN was successful in our application to be a lead site for a suicide prevention trial specifically focused on the LGBTIQ community.