Our region is home to many people who identify as 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 people who are LGBTIQ can experience in their everyday lives, including from the health system.
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 drug misuse or dependence.
- Some cancers.
- Some STIs including HIV.
NWMPHN engages in activities to increase the cultural responsiveness and inclusiveness of health services and health professionals working with LGBTIQ people, and to address inequality in health systems and outcomes. Current activities include:
- Quality Improvement grants
- Alcohol and Other Drug support projects
- Mental Health initiatives
- Cultural Awareness training for workers in aged care.
- Queerspace at Drummond Street Services
- Thorne Harbour Health
- Mind Equality Centre
- QHealth (partnership between Merri Health and Drummond Street Services)
- Switchboard Victoria