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Sisters in the City provides support for LGBTQ+ individuals, peers and allies. As such, we are run by members of the community and are aimed at supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
Sisters in the City recognises that “all humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (United Nations, 2012) and embraces diversity of expression of human gender, sexuality and relationship structures.
Sisters in the City recognises that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) people and their families are subject to significant pressures and discrimination based on prejudice towards their sexual and/or gender identity.
A national study of the LGBTIQ+ community found direct negative mental health impacts from discrimination, with almost 40% of respondents seeking therapy in the previous 12 months for anxiety, depression, family and relationship concerns (Leonard et al, 2012). The report recommended that underlying causes of discrimination be addressed.
Sisters in the City affirms:
· Same-sex attraction (homosexuality) is not a mental disorder (APA, 2013); neither are gender-diverse or transgender identifications. Gender dysphoria pertains to the degree of distress caused by stigma, not to the transgender identity itself (APA, 2013);
· Sisters in the City staff respect the rights of LGBTIQ+ people and their families to privacy, confidentiality, self-determination and autonomy;
· Sisters in the City staff are aware of their personal values, beliefs and assumptions in relation to diverse clients; and respect diversity by not discriminating against clients based on their gender and/or sexual identity, either directly or indirectly;
· Sisters in the City staff refer onward clients for whom they are not competent to provide a particular clinical service, and ensure that referrals are in the clients’ best interests and are made with informed consent;
· Sisters in the City staff commit to eliminating the stigma and discrimination that has been historically directed toward LGBTIQ+ clients and their families; and
· Sisters in the City staff support the dissemination of accurate information to clients about their sexual and gender identities.
Responsiveness to LGBTIQ+ clients who present with concerns about their sexual or gender identity, or members of their families, can be oriented around a contextualised approach to the client’s presentation, challenging negative stereotypes, supporting self-acceptance and where necessary, referral to ancillary supports (counsellors/psychologists).
COMMUNITY NURSING CARE
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PSYCHOSOCIAL RECOVERY COACHING
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Service you can trust
American Psychiatric Association (2013). (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Leonard, W., Pitts, M., Mitchell, A., Lyons, A., Smith, A., Patel, S., Couch, M. & Barrett, A. (2012). Private Lives 2: The second national survey of the health and wellbeing of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) Australians. Monograph Series Number 86. Melbourne: The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University.
United Nations (2012). Born free and equal: Sexual orientation and gender identity in inter- nation human rights law. The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. Retrieved from http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ Publications/BornFreeAndEqualLowRes.pdf
LGBTQ+ RESOURCES AND SUPPORT
AGEING AND DISABILITY ADVOCACY AUSTRALIA
Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia (ADA Australia) is a not-for-profit, independent, community based advocacy and education service.
1800 818 338
Lifeline is Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support.
13 11 14 (web chat also available)
DIVERSE VOICES/QLIFE COUNSELLING
Focus in providing a LGBTIQ+ peer to peer telephone, web chat and referral service.
1800 184 527 (web chat also available)
OPEN DOORS YOUTH SERVICE
Aims to ensure all young people of diverse genders, bodies, sex, sexualities and relationships will be connected to culturally and developmentally appropriate services.
(Brisbane): 07 3257 7660
MensLine Australia is the national telephone and online support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship concerns.
1300 789 978 (web chat also available)
Provides support for people experiencing, or at the risk of experiencing, violence and abuse, their friends and family, and professionals.
1800 737 732 (web chat also available)