Key messages

  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Victorians can face discrimination that leads them to experience poorer health outcomes. These outcomes occur in areas such as mental health, general health, and alcohol and drug use.
  • Well proud recommends ways health services can improve health outcomes for LGBTI Victorians.
  • The Department of Health & Human Services funds key services for LGBTI Victorians.
  • The department has also developed decision-making principles to guide health services managing care for infants, children and adolescents with intersex conditions.
  • The Transgender and gender diverse health and wellbeing background paper outlines how Victorian health services could more comprehensively meet the needs of Victoria’s transgender and gender diverse population.

Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Victorians live healthy, connected, happy and positive lives, but the LGBTI population has poorer health and wellbeing outcomes than other Victorians in some areas. These areas include mental health, suicide, general health, alcohol and other drug use. Social determinants, such as discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and reduced access to appropriate health care, can affect these poorer health and wellbeing outcomes.

The Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) Project aims to improve the mental health of same sex attracted and sex and gender diverse (SSASGD) young Victorians. Part of this funding was distributed as HEY grants, which provide one-off funding to innovative, local projects.

In the 2015 budget, the government has committed $5.88 million (over four years) to fund programs that promote the rights, mental health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Victorians.The first year of funding - $1.42 million - will be used to continue the delivery of initiatives funded as part of the Healthy Equal Youth project in 2015-16.

LGBTI Taskforce and Health & Human Services Working Group

A whole of government LGBTI Taskforce has been established as part of the Government’s commitment to provide inclusive and supportive services for LGBTI people.

To support the work of the taskforce a Health and Human Services Working Group has been created to advise on current and emerging LGBTI issues, as well as the implementation of the Government’s election commitments. 

Read more about the Taskforce and Working Group.

Resources for LGBTI Victorians

  • Decision making principles for the care of infants, children and adolescents with intersex conditions aim to maximise the outcomes.
  • Well proud: A guide to LGBTI inclusive practice for health and human services helps health providers improve the quality of care for LGBTI Victorians. It recommends strategies to respond to issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex variations.
  • The Transgender and gender diverse health and wellbeing background paper outlines how Victorian health services could more comprehensively meet the needs of Victoria’s transgender and gender diverse population
  • Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria is a health and wellbeing policy and resource unit. It trains health care providers, develops health resources and operates an information clearinghouse. It coordinates and manages the HEY Project and provides youth mental health training to mainstream youth mental health services in Victoria (including Headspace).
  • Gay and Lesbian Switchboard is a volunteer organisation that provides a telephone counselling, referral and information service for LGBTI Victorians and Tasmanians, their families and friends, and health and welfare professionals.
  • Minus 18 is the largest youth-led organisation for SSASGD youth in Australia. It aims to reduce social isolation by organising safe and inclusive events, developing resources, delivering workshops and tackling discrimination. It also provides an online network for young people all over Australia to connect with one another. It is funded through the HEY Project.
  • Living Positive Victoria is a not-for-profit, community-based organisation representing all people living with HIV in Victoria. It provides services for people living with HIV/AIDS, to improve life expectancy and quality of life.
  • Rainbow Network Victoria provides information, training and support to individuals and organisations that work with SSASGD young people in Victoria. It is funded through the HEY Project and sits within Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria.
  • Safe Schools Coalition Victoria provides training, resources and support to help schools become homophobia and transphobia free spaces. It is jointly funded through the HEY Project and the Victorian Department of Education and Training, and sits within Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria.
  • The Southern Health Gender Dysphoria Clinic is a specialist assessment, diagnosis and treatment centre for people questioning their gender identity and seeking medical assistance with transitioning. It is located at the Moorabbin Mental Health Service Clayton (Southern Health).
  • Transcend Support is a not-for-profit support group for parents of transgender children. It allows parents to discuss the challenges of raising transgender children, and to support one another. It organises local meetings and events, and offers a private online forum where parents can share their experiences.
  • The Uniting Care Cutting Edge Diversity Project, Shepparton offers two preventive support and early intervention services for SSASGD young people aged 10‒25 years.
  • The Victorian AIDS Council and the Gay Men’s Health Centre (VAC/GMHC) aims to improve the health and social and emotional wellbeing of HIV-positive and LGBTI Victorians. It offers care, support and advocacy to the HIV-positive community and service providers.
  • WayOut@Cobaw Community Health Service is a youth suicide prevention program targeting SSASGD young people in rural Victoria. WayOut works with SSASGD young people and their local communities to raise awareness about sexual and gender identity diversity. It also tackles discrimination and prejudice that can lead to poorer mental health outcomes. WayOut is a program of Cobaw Community Health Service and is funded through the HEY Project and the Department of Health & Human Services.
  • YGender provides safe, peer-supported activities for sex and gender diverse young people. It is funded through the HEY Project
  • The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) is the peak body and leading policy advocate on young people’s issues in Victoria. Its vision is for a Victorian community that values and provides opportunity, participation, justice and equity for all young people, including SSASGD young people. YACVic manages the HEY Grants and advises on project development.
  • The Zoe Belle Gender Centre is an online service providing resources for the health and wellbeing of sex and gender diverse people (including transgender, transsexual and other gender diverse people) in Victoria. It works with SSASGD and mainstream health and human service providers. The ZBGC Youth Project is supported by the Western Region Health Centre.
  • Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria provides accessible and up-to-date health information and resources. It materials are grouped into LGBTI health-related subjects.

Services for LGBTI Victorians

The Department of Health & Human Services funds agencies and projects to improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTI Victorians:

  • Aged care services
  • Alcohol and drug services
  • General practice
  • Housing and homelessness services
  • Legal issues for LGBTI inclusive services
  • Mental health services
  • Rural services
  • Sexual health services

Related sites for LGBTI Victorians

  • Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria provides accessible and up-to-date health information and resources. It materials are grouped into LGBTI health-related subjects.
  • Better Health Channel provides health and medical information to help individuals and their communities improve their health and wellbeing.