Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Intersex (LGBTI) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have suffered a great deal in accessing health care services in Australia. These minority communities have experienced various health concerns including mental health, suicidal attempts, and cardiovascular disease (Baker, 2012). The native Australians are exposed to these health concerns because of the combination of the health sector and general sector factors (AIHW, 2013; AIHW, 2016). The solution lies with the Australian government thus forming the basis of this research.
LGBTI and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
In Australia and New Zealand, the LGB are sexually attracted and enjoy romantic relationships with their equivalent gender (Rosenstreich, 2013). In Australia, the statistics speaks for itself as 15% and 9% of Australian women and men respectively have reported the same sex-attraction or have had sexual contacts (Rosenstreich, 2013). The Aboriginal and Torres Strait people are the indigenous group living in the remote areas in Australia and experience healthcare challenges. The discussion will focus on the mental problem, self-harm, suicidal and cardiovascular diseases affecting these minority groups.
In Australia, the LGBTIQ communities are among the poorest groups as explained by (Australian Government, 2012). According to Rosenstreich, (2013), about 36.2% of the transgender have experienced the worst depressive episodes compared to the majority population. The same statistics has been reported for the gay, bisexual and lesbians Australians compared to the 6.8% of Australians (Australian Government, 2012). The situation is even worse for the Trans women whose incidence of mental health stands at 59.3% (McNeil et al., 2012). The situation is the same for men, as the statistics indicate that many LGBTIQ aged 16-24 years suffer from mental health problem (Australian Government, 2012).
Self-Harm And Suicide:
LGBTIQ have reported the highest rate of suicidality of in the country. According to Australian Government (2012), the statistics indicate that 15.7% and 20% of LGB and Trans Australian have shown the suicidal ideation. They have thought of ending their lives. In fact, 50% of the transgender Australians have tried suicide (Rosenstreich, 2013). It has thus affirmed the same-sex attraction has shown the highest rates of suicidal attempts compared to the heterosexual group (PwC, 2011). The majority of those involved in the suicidal attempts try it at 16 years. LGBTIQ Australians, refugees, and migrants as well as the LGBTIQ group living in rural areas have been vulnerable to the suicidal risks (PwC, 2011). The older LGBTIQ group is at high risk of attempting suicide. Unfortunately, the majority who have attempted suicide are yet to disclose their gender identity, sexual orientation, and intersexual status (Dyson et al., 2003).
The cardiovascular disease has caused the population a lot of harm. It is the leading killer disease in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders group. For instance, in 2013, the disease killed over 24 percent of the islanders and aboriginals (ABS, 2015). The ischaemic heart disease has affected more men than women. The disease interferes with brain’s blood supply vessels. The government report showed that this minority group was 1.6 times vulnerable to the ischaemic cerebrovascular and ischaemic heart disease (ABS 2014). AIHW (2015) indicates that the Aboriginals and Islanders aged 35-44 years were more vulnerable to contrast the coronary heart diseases than their counterparts were.
The mainstream mental health organizations are taking the positive to handle the situation to promote health activities. It is thus important for the government to help in building diversity competence such as soft skills, specific LGBTI knowledge, and gender-neutral language. Importantly, it is critical to prioritize inclusion, partnership, and targeted initiatives to prevent the problem. Importantly, the government should consider introducing advanced health programs that can enhance treatment and identification of the severe health conditions. This should involve expanding the primary health care services to the remotest areas where the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can access (Holland, 2016). Additionally, the service providers should be culturally intelligent and competent. This will allow the service providers to understand the scope and context of the targeted population (DPMC, 2016).
LGBTIQ and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have remained vulnerable to mental health, suicidal attempts and cardiovascular diseases. Various factors have contributed to their health woos. The current efforts seem to hit a snug and the stakeholders should consider inclusion, partnership and modern healthcare programs to save them.
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Holland, C. (2016). Close the Gap: Progress and Priorities Report 2016. Canberra: Closing the Gap Campaign Steering Committee.
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Rosenstreich, G. (2013). LGBTI People Mental Health and Suicide, 2nd Edition. Sydney: National LGBTI Health Alliance.