Heteronormative models of mental health care delivery: investigating staff knowledge and confidence to meet needs of LGBTIQ+ people

Jan Kilicaslan, Melissa Petrakis

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


BACKGROUND: Mental Health services need to adopt service delivery models that are inclusive and responsive to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and gender diverse, intersex, and/or queer (LGBTIQ+) identifying individuals.

AIMS: A survey was conducted to investigate an LGBTIQ+ related workforce development initiative, and perceived knowledge, confidence and workplace culture of mental health staff in a multi-site public mental health service.

METHODS: ​​A survey comprised of multiple choice, five-point Likert scale ratings, and short answer sections was administered to mental health staff at their place of work. Workplaces included were: community mental health clinics, residential services, acute mental health inpatient services, service development, and research departments.

RESULTS: The sample comprised of 85 respondents; the majority female (66%), with good representation of staff across age brackets. Of 85 respondents; the majority were female (66%), identified as heterosexual (68%), and over a quarter (25.88%) identified as non-heterosexual and/or non-cisgender. Self-reported levels of staff knowledge and confidence in working with those identifying as LGBTIQ+ were limited. While 64% of staff surveyed noted that opportunities exist in the workplace to discuss LGBTIQ+ issues, a desire to further increase knowledge was expressed by 94% of staff.

DISCUSSION / CONCLUSIONS: Staff attitudes, knowledge, confidence, and support needs should be carefully considered at organisational and leadership levels, to ensure mainstream mental health services foster LGBTIQ+ responsive service delivery models and practices. Structured initiatives are required for services to foster LGBTIQ+ responsive practices.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2019
Event9th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health 2019: Shaping the future - University of York Exhibition Centre, York, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Jul 201926 Jul 2019
Conference number: 9th


Conference9th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health 2019
Abbreviated titleICSW 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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