The impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTIQ+ community

COVID-19 has posed fresh challenges to every person and community. For the LGBTIQ+ community, it has disproportionately affected certain aspects of their lives, such as their mental health and their ability to access healthcare.

Some of the ways COVID-19 has impacted the LGBTIQ+ community include:

  • fear of discrimination when accessing financial relief services, food, and housing
  • concern if intimate partner status will be acknowledged
  • potential increase in family violence and homelessness.

While these problems are concerning, there are ways we can help. Dr Birgit Mumelter, Psychology Discipline Senior at the Gender Clinic, gave a presentation on the impact the current climate is having on the LGBTIQ+ community. In her presentation, she also outlined the ways we can help LGBTIQ+ individuals during this time.

“As an organisation, we can be a powerful driver for inclusion, which can be beneficial for staff and consumers.”

Dr Mumelter went on to say one of the most significant ways we can help tackle these problems as employees is by supporting an inclusive work environment. This includes:

  • Using gender-neutral words such as “partner”
  • Clarifying the appropriate name, pronoun, and title and use where appropriate
  • Providing helpful information such as location of gender-neutral facilities
  • Calling out inappropriate language or behaviours.

It is important to be mindful of the concerns LGBTIQ+ community may have when engaging with the healthcare system, and to promote a safe, inclusive environment. You can find out more about the services offered by Monash Health’s Gender Clinic here.

Monash Health has an Equity and Inclusion LGBTIQ+ Committee, which works to break down barriers the LGBTIQ+ community may face when interacting with the healthcare system. You can find out more about the work Monash Health is doing to support the LGBTIQ+ community in the Equity and Inclusion Strategy.

If you missed Dr Mumelter’s presentation, you can watch it here. You can also watch past events and look at upcoming events on the Monash Health COVID-19 website. Make sure to join us at our Thursday Employee Forums for more Health and Wellbeing presentations.

Approved by Karen Lowe, 27 August

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