We need to include LGBTI communities: Govt announces $1.1 billion package to boost relief.

The National Health Alliance asks the government to ensure that we are able to meet the increased demand for peer-based services, that the $1.1 billion package is distributed in ways which enhance the wellbeing of LGBTI Australians and to recognise the drastic social and health disparities already experienced by LGBTI Australians. 

The National LGBTI Health Alliance welcomes the recent announcement of a $1.1 billion package to boost mental health services, domestic violence support, Medicare assistance for people at home and emergency food relief. However, the National LGBTI Health Alliance calls for specific funding allocation for peer-led LGBTI services, as a key part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s essential that these funding opportunities reach LGBTI communities and organisations, if the government genuinely wants all Australians to have access to health services,” said Nicky Bath, CEO, “Funding through large generic services will not meet the specific needs of vulnerable communities. As pre-existing health-disparities increase, our communities will fall through this safety net.”

The COVID-19 pandemic is drastically exacerbating barriers to care for LGBTI people, who need specific, culturally safe and quality care. We urgently need peer-based, community-led, and long standing LGBTI organisations to be resourced adequately, if they are to meet the additional demand that the Corona Virus has placed on already under-resourced services.

Nicky Bath continued, “We know that the domestic and family violence (DFV) sector are often unable to meet the needs of LGBTI people when they are seeking support and refuge. Given that we are as at risk of experiencing DFV as the general population and that we are being asked to stay in the home, this is a scary time for many in our communities.”

The National Health Alliance asks the government to ensure that we are able to meet the increased demand for peer-based services, that the $1.1 billion package is distributed in ways which enhance the wellbeing of LGBTI Australians and to recognise the extreme social and health disparities already experienced by LGBTI Australians.

NATIONAL LGBTI HEALTH ALLIANCE: 2020 SNAPSHOT OF MENTAL HEALTH AND SUICIDE PREVENTION STATISTICS FOR LGBTI PEOPLE.

The National LGBTI Health Alliance (the Alliance) is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people (LGBTI) and other sexuality, gender, and bodily diverse people and communities. We recognise that people’s genders, bodies, relationships, and sexualities affect their health and wellbeing in every domain of their life.

Formed in 2007, the Alliance includes the major providers of services for LGBTI people in Australia, with Members drawn from each State and Territory. The Alliance provides a representative national voice to: develop policy and to support LGBTI health issues; seek increased commitment to services for LGBTI people; develop the capacities of LGBTI organisations; and support evidence-based decision-making through improved data collection covering sexuality, sex and gender identity.