A new study aimed at gaining a better understanding of the impact of prejudice and minority stress on the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQ people has been launched in Sydney’s Western suburbs today in the hope that it will inform the development of advocacy, training and other service-related initiatives.
The study, particularly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, begins with a community survey that people from that region or people that have lived there before can access here.
A scoping study will follow which involves an extensive review of existing health and practice related literature, focus groups held with LGBTQ Leaders and Service Providers who operate in Western Sydney.
The scoping study will be overseen by an Advisory Group established by ACON’s Safety and Inclusion Project.
Speaking at the launch, ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said protecting LGBTQ people and providing inclusive and safe areas wherever they are is a critical determinant of the health of communities.
“Feedback from the 14 community representatives who sit on the Advisory Group identified a need for greater information because there was a real gap in data looking at the experiences of LGBTQ people outside of Sydney’s inner-city suburbs,” ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said.
“Even with the progress made in broader social acceptance of LGBTQ people, such as the recent gains in equal marriage rights, we know that this progress can come at a cost for some in our communities.
“Backlash is a risk that can come with greater LGBTQ visibility, and sadly instances of abuse and harassment still occur.”
Key objectives established by the project Advisory Group include building the capacity of key mainstream services to be inclusive and provide appropriate services for LGBTQ communities in Western Sydney and improving the capacity of LGBTQ leaders to engage and support communities in Western Sydney to provide relevant information and break down social isolation.
Mr Parkhill said that the study was a key step in the project’s overall objective in establishing an evidence base to support the development of a plan to address issues impacting on Western Sydney communities.
“Research shows us that experiences of prejudice and exclusion affect health outcomes in LGBTQ communities, including their mental health and wellbeing.
“The findings from this survey will help us gain a better understanding of the issues facing LGBTQ people in Western Sydney, and help inform the development of programs and services.
“I encourage LGBTQ residents from Western Sydney to take part in this study. Your input will be critical to how we shape responses that help strengthen our communities’ wellbeing and resilience,” Mr Parkhill said.
Anyone wishing to complete the survey can do so here.