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GLEN works with the National Office for Suicide Prevention, HSE Health Promotion, professional bodies, mental health agencies and LGBT organisations to implement its mental health programme
GLEN Mental Health Programme
A priority for GLEN is to ensure that a climate of inclusion and support exists for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Ireland so they can realise their full potential and be free to participate in all aspects of Irish society. Life has improved significantly for LGBT people in recent years and our society has seen many positive changes. Despite this, LGBT people can still experience intolerance, discrimination and/or harassment because they are LGBT. Some feel they need to hide their identity for fear of negative reactions from the people around them while others encounter barriers in their day-to-day life because of their identity. These additional life challenges faced by many LGBT people are often referred to as minority stress.
GLEN is working to make Ireland a place where all LGBT people can feel safe and confident about being open about their sexual orientation and gender identity at home, in work and within the wider community; where LGBT people are included and not discriminated against in services and in legislation; where the necessary supports are accessible and appropriate for LGBT people; and where relationships between people of the same sex are seen as no different to relationships between heterosexual people.
GLEN's mental health programme aims to achieve significant change in Irish health policy and service delivery which will contribute to the elimination of LGBT minority stress. We also aim to eliminate the social and attitudinal barriers that still exist in Ireland so that all LGBT people can enjoy full equality, inclusion and participation in their family life, in work, in their local community and in the wider society.
The GLEN mental health programme is funded by the Health Service Executive and we work closely with a number of divisions within the HSE including the National Office for Suicide Prevention, Mental Health and Health Promotion to establish and achieve the objectives of the programme.
We focus on identifying strategies that will achieve positive change for LGBT people's mental health and wellbeing and focus in particular on the social and structural determinants of LGBT mental health and suicidality. We use the 4 Ps model to achieve our strategic objectives:
- Raise the profile of LGBT mental health and suicide issues
- Advocate for policies that promote LGBT-inclusive health and mental health services
- Establish evidence-based programmes for LGBT mental health promotion and suicide prevention
- Support capacity-building of professionals to ensure appropriate and effective responses to LGBT users of mental health and support services
We also work in partnership with a wide range of organisations to implement the programme including professional bodies, mental health agencies, health services and LGBT groups.
This report is the first report of its kind to map out existing health-related services, supports, gaps and actions for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Ireland. It gives visibility to issues which have not been to the fore in health service planning and it details key health priorities for this population group as evidenced in Irish and international research