NAViGO are thrilled to join the NHS Rainbow Badge scheme to symbolise the key role we have to play in improving the lives of LGBT+ people.
Launching at the start of Pride Month, the scheme is a way to show service users that we’re an open, non-judgmental and inclusive healthcare provider.
The badges, which originated at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, send a message that you can talk to our staff about any issues or concerns, whilst also raising awareness and encouraging important conversations.
Amy Quickfall, engagement and projects manager at NAViGO, said: “By wearing an NHS rainbow badge, our staff are sending out a message to LGBT+ people and their families: I’m an ally and you can talk to me freely without worrying about who you are and how you feel.
“We’ll do our best to find appropriate support for anyone who is finding it difficult to ‘come out’ – especially as feeling afraid to disclose your sexuality can be a trigger for both physical and mental health problems.
“Though it may seem like a small move, these badges are a significant and visible step in putting LGBT+ issues front and centre in North East Lincolnshire mental health care provision.”
Despite improving social attitudes in general towards LGBT+ people in the UK, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are still widely prevalent.
Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are much higher in people who identify as LGBT+.
When they access healthcare, LGBT+ people can face inequalities and there can be barriers to accessing services.
Research has shown that negative attitudes towards LGBT+ people are still common within the NHS. This means that LGBT+ young people can be reluctant to disclose their sexuality and/or gender identity to healthcare workers, which in turn can affect the quality of the care they receive.
If you are struggling to cope, are worried about someone you know or need to speak to someone urgently, there is a range of help available.
- The COVID-19 mental health support service offers support to anyone who has been affected by the pandemic in any way. It's free and available 24 hours a day. Just call (01472) 256256 and select option 3 or freephone 08081 968442.
- If you’re in a mental health crisis and need urgent help, call the Single Point of Access on (01472) 256256 and select option 3. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Safespace provides instant support if you’re vulnerable and need assistance with your mental health out-of-hours. You can speak to the team using Zoom or by calling in via telephone, between 5.30pm and 11pm, Monday to Friday.
- Open Minds offers a range of talking therapies aimed at helping you to deal with the effects of stress, anxiety and depression. You can self-refer to Open Minds online.