The Victorian Government has pledged to better support the needs of trans and gender diverse people, with two new, dedicated multidisciplinary health clinics opening in Ballarat and Preston.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today announced that Your Community Health would lead a consortium comprised of Ballarat Community Health, Austin Health and Thorne Harbour Health to deliver the Australian-first Trans and Gender Diverse Health Care Initiative, boosting access to inclusive and responsive healthcare.

The initiative will establish two health clinics for trans and gender diverse people and deliver a state-wide training
program for health professionals.

“Our health services must be welcoming, safe and respectful places for everyone. Trans and gender diverse Victorians deserve equal healthcare,” said Mikakos.

Ballarat Community Health and Your Community Health in Preston will provide primary care and gender affirmation services, including GP services, sexual health, alcohol and other drug services, and counselling.

Thorne Harbour Health will lead the development and delivery of tailored training for healthcare staff across the state to provide inclusive services to the trans and gender diverse community.

The initiative is part of a $3.4 million package delivered in the 2018-19 Victorian Budget to expand health service capacity for trans and gender diverse people. It also includes $1 million for a peer support program delivered in partnership with Transgender Victoria (TGV).

Trans and gender diverse people often experience poorer health because of the discrimination they face in their everyday lives, with almost 50 per cent of trans and gender diverse youth having attempted suicide.

“We know this community experiences higher rates of mental health issues, stigma and discrimination, which is why it is so important this initiative was co-designed by the community to meet their needs,” said Minister for Equality Martin Foley.

Critical to the success of the new initiative is the inclusion and participation of trans and gender diverse people in the design, development, implementation and evaluation of the services being delivered.

“We are ensuring our services are more responsive to trans and gender diverse people, so they can get the high quality, affirming and safe care they need, when they need it,” said Member for Preston Robin Scott.

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