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Celebrating diversity will improve health outcomes for Territorians

Celebrating diversity
Pictured L-R: Kate Race, Salli Cohen, Deb Butler, Dr Belinda Chaplin. Prof. Catherine Stoddart, Kate Walker

On Monday 30 September, NT Health launched the NT Health Inclusion Strategy to improve health services and workplaces for Territorians.

The NT Health Inclusion Strategy promotes the health and wellbeing of sexuality and gender diverse people, families and communities.  The strategy builds on current initiatives and sets clear aims and actions to improve health services and workplaces to become more inclusive for all Territorians.

People who are sexuality and gender diverse make up a significant and important part of the Territory’s population.  Under the guidance of an advisory group drawn from NT Health and consumer representatives, the strategy positions NT Health as a leader in supporting professional development and best practice health care for people who are sexuality and gender diverse.

The strategy recognises the importance of diversity in the workforce and the dynamic nature of sexuality and gender diverse communities.  NT Health is committed to deliver actions that have real impact for its clients and employees in an inclusive environment where all people are heard and valued.

Lecturer in Nursing, Dr Belinda Chaplin, a member of the advisory group, spoke at the launch and said, “I look forward to the day when our communities can engage with a health service that respects, recognises, values, empowers and celebrates the diverse identities here in the NT”.

The advisory group considered the power and changing nature of language.  That is why the strategy moved away from using the LGBTQI+ acronym.  Instead, by adopting the term “sexuality and gender diverse”, the strategy embraces all spectrums of sexuality, sex, and gender.

While many people who are sexuality and gender diverse lead happy and heathy lives, the research tells us there are inequities in overall health status compared to the general population. “Health services until now have not catered adequately for these populations, but that changes now with the introduction of this collaborative strategy which engages with health consumers, the NT Health workforce and other key stakeholders such as advocacy organisations to provide an inclusive environment”, Dr Chaplin said.