A new website has been launched that allows LGBTIQ Australians to share community experiences about safe and friendly health and service providers.
The RAD Australia website was borne of a collaborative research project between LGBTIQ community organisations and universities, providing a referral database website with review functions for service listings.
The design was informed by the research of the You Learn From Each Other report, which documented the experiences of LGBTIQ young people in seeking mental health support and how digital media could play a role in reducing barriers encountered.
You Learn From Each Other found that LGBTIQ young people regularly turned to their peers for recommendations of health and community services that were known to be supportive and respectful to the community.
Community level research for the report took place at Sydney’s Twenty10 and Perth’s own Freedom Centre, where both organisations found a clear need to research the experiences of LGBTIQ young people and establish evidence of their particular needs.
“We knew that young people were facing barriers, so through the Young and Well CRC Partnership we were able to collaborate to get the evidence and create a tool that aims to reduce those barriers,” said Freedom Centre Coordinator Dani Wright Toussaint.
The research showed that young LGBTIQ people commonly reported that health professionals were judgemental, did not listen and dismissing LGBTIQ identities as “just a phase.”
Many professionals also lacked knowledge of gender identities, were unwilling to use the correct names and pronouns, gave impersonal service and expected the youth to educate the service provider on LGBTIQ community.
“Young people are asking friends and peers for advice before approaching a health service, often because of past bad experiences, or negative stories they’ve heard,” said Research Project Officer Paul Byron.
“We saw an opportunity to accommodate this in the RAD Australia website.”
For more information, head to radaustralia.org.au