S12: Capitalising on staff passion to instigate more diverse and inclusive service approaches.

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By September 21, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Jennifer Tobin, Katie Larsen

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation,Community, Culture, Society,Reducing Stigma and Discrimination

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: People who identify as LGBTIQ, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and/or CaLD experience disproportionately high rates of psychological distress and suicide, however are consistently underrepresented within generic mental health programs(1). Poor mental health outcomes amongst these population groups must be understood in the context of individual and collective experiences of exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination (2). Understanding the unique needs and issues that can present for individuals and communities within these population groups is critical. This presentation will highlight how direct service sites can play a fundamental role in improving the wellbeing of people who identify as LGBTIQ, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and/or CaLD through developing and implementing strategies that promote culturally safe and inclusive practice. We will share our experience of grassroots-led change where we tapped into passionate staff across all levels of the organisation, consulted with experts and peak bodies, and co-designed inclusive strategies with consumers with lived experience of diversity. Grassroots initiatives can lead the development of sustainable organisational frameworks and polices that better meet the needs of local and diverse communities.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: Audiences will gain insight into why services need to strive towards creating culturally safe and adaptive services that improve access for diverse communities, in addition to learning about a number of practical inclusive strategies that improve service delivery for LGBTIQ, CaLD and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and/or communities.

Learning Objective 2: The topic is highly relevant to the mental health sector as rates of psychological distress and suicidality are significantly higher for LGBTIQ, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and CaLD people, despite these population groups being underrepresented in main stream health services.

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au. Accessed on 2nd March 2017.
Chee K.S, Kang, M. & Usherwood, T. (2014) ‘I demand to be treated as the person I am’: experiences of accessing primary health care for Australian adults who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer’ Department of General Practice, Sydney Medical School Westmead, The University of Sydney in in Sexual Health, CSIRO Publishing, 11, 258–264.

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