Since it began, cohealth has always been committed to being a place where everyone in the LGBTIQA+ community feels valued, listened to and respected. We have just had this confirmed by achieving Rainbow Tick accreditation!
We are so proud of this, as it tells us that we are a safe, affirming, and inclusive organisation for LGBTIQA+ clients and employees.
cohealth was assessed on whether our practices, policies, processes, and spaces create a positive experience for LGBTIQA+ clients and employees.
This is a meaningful achievement for staff. It is both the result of many months of hard work preparing evidence, and of our dedication to constantly improving our services for LGBTIQA+ clients.
Find out more about Rainbow Tick accreditation here.
However, achieving Rainbow Tick is not just about us. One of the most valuable parts of this journey is the impact it can have on our LGBTIQA+ clients and the entire community.
Although Rainbow Tick tells us we are safe, inclusive and welcoming, this is only true if our clients feel that way.
LGBTIQA+ Community Advisors Clare and Sheana shared their thoughts on cohealth’s Rainbow Tick and the importance of inclusive health services.
“It really shows there’s a commitment to making sure that cohealth is a safe place for queer people,” says Clare. “It shows that cohealth considers our communities to be important and worthwhile of care.”
Sheana believes that this achievement shows that there is consideration of people with diverse needs at cohealth, and that this is more than an afterthought.
“There’s an element of ‘you’re welcome here,’ as opposed to ‘you’re tolerated or accepted.”
When working with communities that face barriers to healthcare, it is crucial that a health service makes every person feel welcome in a meaningful way.
Clare reflected on a time where she experienced discrimination at a health service.
“It made me feel angry. And humiliated. It was a frustrating experience”.
Sheana says that it’s important to consider how a person’s own experiences will impact how they feel at a health service.
“Not everyone feels comfortable in their own skin. And then they go into a health setting where they are disempowered from that dynamic. Particularly if you don’t have good health literacy or numeracy, you might already feel intimidated.”
When a healthcare service recognises the needs of the LGBTIQA+ community and makes sure their practices consider them, it can result in a sense of safety, relief, and trust.
“It’s just one less thing we have to worry about,” says Clare. “So we know our healthcare services are going to respect us and do our best to understand us. It’s one less thing that’s going to do us harm.”
“Generally, what inclusive health services are good at doing is saying ‘you’re welcome here’,” adds Sheana. “They allow people to be truthful in the information they give the health practitioner. And this enables them to get equitable, culturally sensitive care based on their needs.”
At cohealth, we want people to see we have a Rainbow Tick and know that they will always be safe, respected and listened to when using our services.
Sheana says that recognising that a service has a Rainbow Tick will allow people to choose a health service that is right for them.
“If the Rainbow Tick is a recognised symbol, then it might serve that person who’s not out to anybody, who’s not quite sure yet. They’ll feel safe going there”.
“Every time an organisation gets a Rainbow Tick, I know they’ve put the work in, that they’re really like that,” says Clare. “I know they really mean it and that’s really valuable to me.”
Beyond Rainbow Tick, cohealth will keep working to make sure the LGBTIQA+ community knows they will have a safe, affirming, and inclusive experience every time they use one of our services.