Through the recently-formed Rainbow Tick Implementation Network, seven regional organisations have come together, and made a commitment to safe and inclusive practices and service delivery for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans- and gender diverse, and intersex (LGBTI) people.
Having jointly participated in Rainbow Health Victoria's nationally-accredited training program, South West Healthcare (SWH), Emma House Domestic Violence Services, Western Region Alcohol and Drug (WRAD) Services, Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative, Glenelg Shire Council, Women's Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West, and Colac Area Health have united.
SWH Mental Health Services associate director Jodi Bateman says they'll share knowledge and resources, and support each other through the lengthy accreditation process.
'Our aim's to join with the LGBTI+ community to directly understand their needs and challenges and address them systematically within each of our organisations. We believe there's strength in our partnership, and together we'll achieve much more than we ever could if we each went it alone. We have some amazing resources in our community including organisations who've already achieved the Rainbow Tick, including Brophy Family and Youth Services, and Bethany Community Support Inc,' Jodi explains.
Emma House executive officer Ruth Isbel points out LGBTI people are not only more likely to experience family violence but are less likely to recognise, report and receive appropriate support in response. She says this network provides a great opportunity for a broad range of services to share and partner to build a service system that's accessible and responsive to the LGBTI community.
SWH SW CASA manager Mary Clapham has also welcomed what she describes as a 'great' opportunity to develop and consolidate service responses across a number of South West agencies to ensure services are inclusive, friendly and acknowledge the strengths of the LGBTI community.
All agree the LGBTI community live healthy, happy and fulfilling lives here in the South West but we know there are barriers to access to services which must be overcome so that people can get help when they need it, in order to thrive.
photo > representatives of some of the members Rainbow Tick Implementation Network: SWH SW CASA manager Mary Clapham, Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative's Danny Pearson and Raelene Kenneally, Emma House executivge officer Ruth Isbel, SWH Mental Health Services associate director Jodi Bateman and Women's Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West chief executive officer Emma Mahoney.