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Published on Feb 17, 2014
In this session I look at the effects of homophobia on service provision. I begin by reminding you of the slide from session one which identified the general effects of homophobia on the provision of services for privileged groups and oppressed groups.
I then look at some specific research conducted by PACE, an LGBT mental health charity based in London. They looked at on-line and off-line services targeted specifically at LGBT people experiencing suicidal distress. The main conclusion was that there are very few services doing this.
Of the four agencies identified as examples of good practice, Gay and Lesbian Youth in Calderdale are highlighted for use of the Needs Assessment Tool and helping to develop an assessment tool with the National CAMH Service.
I then look at the recently published findings (January 2014) from the large Youth Chances survey. As well as surveying over 7,000 young LGBTQ people, Youth Chances also looked at commissioners and service providers. They concluded that there are very few services aimed at meeting the specific needs of LGBTQ young people. Obstacles and drivers are identified.
I then look at the findings of some Training Needs Assessments I conducted with 9 service providers, mainly in Calderdale. Of the 167 professionals the majority had not had any previous training on LGB issues, either in their basic professional or in-service training. The majority did not ask users about sexual orientation.
I conclude the session by reading the true story of a young lesbian who died of a heroin overdose when she was 20 years old. It is a very moving but also telling story. She was in care for many years and had accessed many of the services available to children and young people. Only one of these services, the Leaving Care Team, supported her around her sexuality. I wonder what would have happened if the other services had taken on board her needs as a confused young lesbian? I suspect she would have still been alive. She was a very bright young woman and had a lot to give.