Continued funding for Victorian trans and gender diverse care clinics

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The Victorian state government has committed to funding trans healthcare over the next four years, with $2.1 million ($0.5 million per year) allocated to the continuation of two multidisciplinary care clinics in Preston and Ballarat.

Budget Paper 3: Service Delivery states “Funding will continue to deliver access to trans and gender diverse health services including therapy, trans and gender-diverse peer navigators, and medical treatment where appropriate in Melbourne and regional Victoria, and operate two multidisciplinary gender-affirming care clinics. This initiative contributes to the Department of Health’s Community Health Care output.”

A joint statement by Victoria’s Minister for Health, Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Children declares “In Victoria, equality is not negotiable – that’s why we’re continuing our nation-leading support for our LGBTIQA+ communities, with $2.1 million to make sure trans and gender diverse Victorians have the healthcare they deserve.”

“We’ll also strengthen our suicide prevention programs while supporting groups disproportionately impacted by suicide, with $3.8 million to continue LGBTIQA+ aftercare support and Youth Life4Life programs, as well as Strong Brother Strong Sister and Yarning Safe N Strong for Aboriginal Victorians, and the Peer CARE Companion Warmline.”

The Victorian Council of Social Services welcomed the government’s commitment to mental health initiatives specifically targeting the LGBTIQA+ community, including continued funding for Drummond Street Services’ Q-Space LGBTIQA+ Family Counselling service, but warned that “Across almost every measure of health and wellbeing, LGBTIQ+ people fare significantly worse than non-LGBTIQ+ people – not because of their LGBTIQ+ status but because of the stigma and discrimination that many LGBTIQ+ people encounter. Future budgets need to keep strengthening the investment in LGBTIQ+ community-controlled and user-led health and wellbeing services, as well as ensuring access to safe and inclusive services in mainstream settings.”

Notably, this Victorian state budget also updates its guidelines for inclusive language, adding “A” to “LGBTIQA+” in its official documents.

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