Shining a light on LGBTI rural health

21 April 2017

People who identify as LGBTI in Australia often face health and sexual pressures beyond that experienced more broadly in the community and research indicates they are also at greater risk of suicide.

Jill Davidson, CEO of the state-based sexual and reproductive health agency, SHINE SA, will speak on this critical topic at the 14th National Rural Health Conference in Cairns next week.

“There are many challenges in meeting the needs of the diverse LGBTI population, and specifically, members of the transgender community,” she said.

“On establishing a small response to a section of our population, we realised that the demand was quickly outstripping the services available.”

Ms Davidson's presentation will discuss the unique clinical and social needs of this community especially in rural areas and the challenges involved in establishing a more comprehensive service in the current constrained environment, particularly in relation to funding opportunities.

“SHINE SA is a state organisation and so one of our difficulties is how we extend our services to rural communities where services for the transgender population are limited or non-existent.

“Rurality is a barrier to accessing health services generally, but when it comes to highly specialised services for a transgender population, this challenge is heightened.

“The solution is three-fold: clinical support and education, counselling support through avenues such as telemedicine, and peer-to-peer support.”

More information on the Conference can be found at http://ruralhealth.org.au/14nrhc/

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