At the RGPAS Conference in 2016, we were delighted to invite Dr Thom O’Neill (@fakethom) to give a presentation on ‘LGBT Youth in Rural Communities’. It sparked a lot of discussion and consideration about how rural health services could be made more accessible for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people. Thom presented some startling facts, particularly around the prevalence of mental health problems and accessibility of health services – and introduced many of us to the increasing evidence base about the challenges that LGBTQ+ young people experience when growing up in a rural area.
We have put this RGPAS information together to share some of the information from Thom’s talk, and stimulate thought about how we can make rural GP services more accessible to LGBTQ+ young people. Please read through the factsheets, and consider displaying the posters in your surgery and working through the RGPAS Top Tips sections.
Many thanks to Thom, Kate and Angus who have worked hard to bring this information to fruition.
Dr David Hogg
Rural GP, Isle of Arran & Chair, RGPAS
Many thanks to Dr Thom O’Neill (Paediatric Research Fellow, Edinburgh) who has put in significant effort to make this information available, along with assistance from Dr Angus MacTaggart (Islay GP) and Dr Kate Dawson (Benbecula GP).
Photo credit for rainbow on Arran: jiihacxi (Creative Commons licence)
Thom would like to extend special thanks to Dr Ro Bevan and Dr Jessica Salkind who he works with to improve LGBTQ+ Healthcare for young people across the UK, and who contributed to much of the current work in this area.
Practice in rural areas has its own set of challenges and oftentimes healthcare is delivered primarily by rural GPs who do a whole range of really amazing things, and one of the things we’re trying to develop is a proper rural programme to support positive change.
It’s often the simple things around communication and making a welcoming environment, but there are some specific things that rural GPs could really target. It feels like there is a very positive attitude towards improving practice in this area.
to enable great practice and better understanding
LGBT Youth Mental Health
Be a SuperDoc for LGBT Youth
“Silence Helps Homophobia”
(LGBT Youth Scotland)
LGBT Youth Homelessness
LGBT Youth & Mental Health
(UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre)
Rural issues for LGBTQ+ Youth
(East Kent LGBTQ Youth Summit)
including all the links mentioned in our factsheets.
to consider in your practice..