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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together
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Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

It is estimated that between 5% - 10% of the UK population define themselves as gay and lesbian, meaning that that a significant number of our Trust’s service users and staff will be gay and lesbian.

Our Trust recognises that lesbians, gays and bisexuals may experience prejudice, discrimination and disadvantage as a result of their sexual orientation. It is known that sexual orientation and gender identity have an important role in health inequalities and poor experience of health services.
 
Gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals have higher levels of mental ill health than heterosexual people. Older gay, lesbian and bisexual people are also five times less likely to access services for older people than is the case in the general older population because they fear discrimination, homophobia and ignorance.

Our Trust is committed to making sure all of our service users have equal access and benefits from our services regardless of their sexual orientation. We also aim to make sure that our services are not based on the assumption that everyone is heterosexual.

Our employment policies and practices are equally inclusive. We aim to create a climate of tolerance and respect in the workplace, where all individuals feel safe to make their sexuality public if they wish to. We also make sure that wherever possible our conditions of employment offer the same benefits to same-sex relationships as heterosexual relationships.

Unlawful sexual orientation discrimination happens when someone is treated less favourably due to their sexual orientation, their perceived sexual orientation, or the sexual orientation of those they associate with.

For staff and volunteers, our Trust also has a very proactive LGBT+ Staff Network, who run and attend LGBT+ activities and events, facilitate monthly meetings and are there to support staff through listening and acting on any LGBT+ queries or issues that staff may have.

Useful links

What does sexual orientation mean?

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/your-rights/sexual-orientation/what-does-sexual-orientation-mean/

An overview of your rights - transgender discrimination - http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/your-rights/transgender/

Access to health services for transgender people - http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/before-the-equality-act/guidance-for-service-users-pre-october-2010/health-and-social-care/access-to-services-treatment-and-support/trans-people/

Regard - www.regard.org.uk

Stonewall - www.stonewall.org.uk

http://www.healthylives.stonewall.org.uk/