The Australian Human Rights Commission states that ‘respect for human rights is the cornerstone of strong communities in which everyone can make a contribution and feel included.’
Have you ever taken the time to consider whether your policies and procedures reflect, create and support inclusive practices and service provision for all members of the community, taking into account multiple diversities?
It is likely that your organisation has a number of policies in place to address diversities which typically reference differences in race, gender, age, ability and location, however consideration for sexual orientation or gender identity and/or intersex status can be overlooked.
Research in Australia and globally, demonstrates that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people have poorer health outcomes than the general population because of the discrimination that they experience. In terms of mental health in particular, LGBTI people experience markedly higher levels of depression, anxiety, emotional distress and for some, self-harming and attempts of suicide.
The actual or perceived discrimination by services also means LGBTI people are more likely to avoid or delay seeking care. Consequently, LGBTI health consumers want to know that they can access services where their sexual orientation or gender identity and/or intersex status will be valued and where service providers understand their needs.
Recognising the challenges many LGBTI people face, GLHV (GLHV@ARCHSH) La Trobe University and Quality Innovation Performance Limited (QIP) have worked collaboratively to improve the delivery of inclusive service provision and health care within Australia by developing the Rainbow Tick Standards.
The Rainbow Tick Accreditation Program is a voluntary program which aims to address the inequities for LGBTI people by assisting health and human services to understand and respond to the needs of their LGBTI consumers.
Rainbow Tick Accreditation involves assessment against six standards:
- Standard 1 Organisational capability
- Standard 2 Cultural safety
- Standard 3 Professional development
- Standard 4 Consumer consultation
- Standard 5 Disclosure and documentation
- Standard 6 Access and intake processes
Achievement of the Rainbow Tick aims to increase the health and well-being of LGBTI consumers and staff, as a result of providing an environment and services which are understanding and reflective of their needs.
Some first steps to support LGBTI-inclusiveness within your organisation
Working towards and achieving Rainbow Tick Accreditation involves commitment from your entire team. To get you thinking about the ways you can better support LGBTI people, the team at GLHV have shared some strategies to assist you in getting started…
- Consider LGBTI-inclusive practice every time you develop or review a service, program, policy or procedure; develop skills in identifying, analysing and managing risks to LGBTI people within your community population.
- Work to develop strong relationships with LGBTI community groups and services, so you can keep up-to-date with new learnings and grow your understanding of issues for LGBTI people.
- Reflect on your personal attitudes, beliefs and behaviours towards LGBTI people and how that impacts your work with them.
- Access GLHV’s comprehensive resource library online by visiting www.glhv.org.au to gain further insights, support and information regarding inclusive service training options.
Commence your practice’s Rainbow Tick journey today – demonstrate your organisation’s dedication and commitment to inclusive LGBTI-service delivery, formally recognising culturally appropriate systems and processes in place to best meet the health and/or service needs of LGBTI people.
Contact the QIP team to register or for more information:
P: 1300 820 152
SHineSA are offering a 4-week training program (starting 22 September in Adelaide) on HOW2 create a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) inclusive service.
The program consists of four sessions held 6-8 weeks apart combined with workplace activities provide participants with increased knowledge and capacity in:
1. Auditing your service
2. Consulting consumers
3. Educating colleagues
4. Developing and implementing an action plan
5. Managing obstacles
6. Evaluating changes
This program, presented by SHine SA, is based on the Rainbow Tick Accreditation Standards, a set of six national standards developed by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV), in conjunction with Quality Innovation Performance (QIP).
To find out more about the program and to register click here