LGTB Health Matters Project

Project Update – January 2006

The LGTB Health Matters Project is now complete. It has worked to engage health and social service providers and those charged with their education on setting an LGTB Health agenda. Throughout the life of the project dozens of health and social service agencies, government, universities and colleges were briefed and invited to participate in this action. Some organisations participated as working group members, others in an advisory capacity to their organisation or profession. This has meant that whether they are currently considering their organisational or professional commitment to LGTB Health or not, a significant number of decision-makers, service providers and professional educators are now more aware of the need to address LGTB Health.

A key strategy in any change model is education. This has been the major focus of the Health Matters Project and it has delivered a substantial education resource entitled LGTB Health Matters An Education & Training Resource for Health and Social Service Sectors. This resource is aimed at educators in the health and social service field and can be used in a wide variety of settings, from undergraduate to continuing education. It is available to download via this website. We invite educators to use it and to reproduce it for educational purposes, however ask that the source be appropriately acknowledged.
Another resource that has been created and is available via this website is a brief document on developing LGTB Health policy aimed at smaller health and social service agencies. This document has been created to assist smaller organisations in getting started to develop a policy commitment to LGTB Health. It is titled Preparing an LGTB Policy for Health and Social Service Organisations. It provides practical considerations in policy development such as stakeholder participation and even what you name the policy. It also directs the policy developer to a number of resources that would assist in development and implementation.

Community members have also played an important role in this project. Their stories, experience and solutions provide a rich and solid perspective on why LGTB Health needs to be addressed now. In 2006 we should not be hearing stories of LGTB people being ridiculed or refused health and social services based on their sexual orientation of gender identity, but we do!
Health goes beyond access to services and there are many roles that LGTB individuals, communities and allies can play in creating better health, including prevention, participation and advocacy.

Health is political and we need our politicians at both provincial and federal levels to be aware of what LGTB people want and need from health and social services. Creating community health requires community action and to question our elected leaders on what is being done about this.

The LGTB Health Matters has been an important starting point in creating more relevant and LGTB-inclusive services. Our challenge now as educators, community activists and service providers is to see it have meaning and translated into real outcomes for LGTB people.

Visit the Canadian Rainbow Health website www.rainbowhealth.ca for updates on the Access to Care Project and to access a variety of printed resource.

For more information about resources developed by the LGTB Health Matters Project, please contact:

Donna Wilson
Executive Director
[email protected]