LGBT+ Health Awareness Week runs on, or just before the last week in March of each year with this year being 22-26th March 2021. The week aims to raise awareness and educate communities about the unique health care issues facing the LGBT+ community. Here at Sheffield United Community Foundation, we wanted to use the week to help highlight this and also show what services there are available in Sheffield and how to access these, as well as show how more is being done to make the NHS inclusive, safe, spaces.
The LGBT+ Community and the NHS
In 2019 the NHS appointed a National Advisor for LGBT Health in NHS England in order to start tackling health inequalities the community faces and begin to advise on ways to improve the care LGBT people receive when accessing public health services and NHS services.
Within Sheffield itself, Sheffield Children’s officially launched the NHS Rainbow Badge scheme in February 2020 as one way of highlighting to young people and families that the Trust is an open, non-judgemental and inclusive place for those who identify as LGBT+ with 40% of their staff already wearing the badge. Patients seeing the staff wearing the badge will be able to see they are not alone, and that Sheffield Children’s is an inclusive, safe space where they can discuss any issues they are facing or to ask for any specific LGBT+ young people support.
Our LGBT+ Community at Sheffield United Community Foundation and Club
Rainbow Blades is the official LGBT+ Supporters and Allies group of Sheffield United Football Club. This is an incredibly safe space for the LGBT+ community to be a part of, confide in for advice or simply attend socials, campaigns and events the group hosts. Our Empower LGBT+ project at the Foundation is in partnership with Rainbow Blades and actively support their mission to bring LGBT+ communities and Allies of SUFC together to celebrate diversity, inclusion and LGBT+ visibility within the club.
Some Worrying Statistics…
The 2017 National LGBT Survey found:
- 16% of over 108,000 respondents had a negative experience accessing or trying to access public health services because of sexual orientation, with 38% due to their gender identity.
- 80% of trans respondents identified long waiting times for gender identity clinics as the most common barrier to accessibility.
In 2018, Stonewall and YouGov’s survey of more than 5000 LGBT people across England, Scotland and Wales found:
Mental Health and the LGBT+ Community:
- 52% of LGBT people have experience depression within a 12-month period
- 67% of Trans people have experienced depression in the 12 months, 70% non-binary people, 55% of LGBT women and 46% GBT men have had the same experience
- Rates of depression are higher amongst LGBT people who’ve experienced hate crime based on their sexual orientation, with 69% experiencing this
- One in eight LGBT people (13 per cent) have experienced some form of unequal treatment from healthcare staff because they’re LGBT
- Almost one in four LGBT people (23 per cent) have witnessed discriminatory or negative remarks against LGBT people by healthcare staff
- One in seven LGBT people (14 per cent) have avoided treatment for fear of discrimination because they’re LGBT
All of this data is just what we feel are the key facts surrounding the LGBT+ community and healthcare, which is very, very daunting. But, through raised awareness, increased information and making an active change these figures can reduce and eventually cease to exist.
Services available in Sheffield:
Brunsmeer Football Club – free 1hr football sessions
SAYiT works with young people and professionals to make real lives better. They provide practical support around LGBT+ life, sexual health, HIV and mental wellbeing, while our training helps organisations improve knowledge and address discrimination.
What they offer:
- Group work and 1:1s for young people aged 11-25
- Support for parents and carers of young LGBT+ people
- Trans inclusive space
- Workshops and training to empower LGBT+ young people and those young people affected by HIV
All events and information are on their Facebook page and Website
How to get in touch:
Sexual Health Sheffield at Royal Hallamshire Hospital
Sexual Health Sheffield provides a range of free and confidential services including free testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV. Some services include:
- Express sexual health screening service for people who have no symptoms
- Home self-testing for STIs and HIV
- Sexual health screening
- HIV testing and access to support services
- Assessment of and access to PEP: treatment for people who have recently been exposed to possible HIV infection (this treatment needs to start within 72 hours)
- Support in contacting and informing partners of the need to access STI testing
Pitstop+ service for gay and bisexual men who live or socialise in Sheffield and is a free and confidential weekly sexual health walk-in service on a Thursday 4:30-6:30pm. (Temporarily postponed due to current COVID-19 guidelines).
Youth Clinic for those aged 18 and under to access free and confidential information and advice on any sexual health issue as well as a full range of contraception, testing and treatment. This is open 2:00-4:00pm every Wednesday at the Royal Hallamshire.
LASS (Lesbian Asylum Support Sheffield)
LASS is a volunteer run organisation with the overarching aim of supporting and empowering LBTQ+ and non-binary identifying asylum seekers and refugees. On the first Thursday of the month (18:00-20:00) they hold a meeting for LBTQ+ and non-binary asylum seekers and refugees at Together Women.
Get in touch with them on Facebook and Twitter, or via their email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mix is a UK based charity that provides free, confidential support for young people under 25 via online, social and mobile.
This isn’t an LGBT specific help resource but the services they provide are fully confidential and can be done through easily accessible means.
The LGBT+ anti-violence charity, provides support for LGBT+ people who have experienced hate crime, domestic abuse or sexual violence
0800 999 5428
National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans+ Domestic Abuse Helpline
020 7704 2040
LGBT+ Hate Crime Helpline
Together, this Health Awareness Week and every week, we can all help tackle these inequalities and ensure we are mindful of the unnecessary barriers LGBT+ people face.