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29 February 2024
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Croydon Champions Health Needs of LGBTQ+ Community

Source: Your Croydon – news from the council

Croydon’s LGBTQ+ community needs better support and a deeper understanding of their lives to improve their health outcomes and access to health and care services.

The call to action comes from Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s Director of Public Health. In her latest annual report, she puts a spotlight on challenges faced by LGBTQ+ residents after finding a lack of existing local health and wellbeing data for this community.

Her report celebrates what is being done in the borough to champion the lives of the LGBTQ+ population, and highlights what more is needed to ensure people get appropriate support.

A video accompanying Ms Flowers’ report showcases the lives of local people and allies in the LGBTQ+ community, with first-hand accounts of the impact of their experiences.

Limited data on the LGBTQ+ community makes it difficult to understand their health and wellbeing needs and the inequalities they face. LGBTQ+ people are more likely than others to feel isolated or lonely.

Nationally, one in three LGBTQ+ young people experience mental health difficulties, compared to one in eight in the general population. One in seven LGBTQ+ people avoid treatment for fear of discrimination.

Rachel Flowers highlights three key things we can all do to support Croydon’s LGBTQ+ community. These are to keep questioning our assumptions, actively support their visibility and promote their representation across all areas.

A series of recommendations in the director of public health’s report aim to achieve, through collective efforts, a more inclusive, equitable and supportive society for all, and a Croydon where everybody can thrive.

Ms Flowers will work with Croydon’s LGBTQ+ population, health, social care, voluntary and community sectors, and other key partners to implement these recommendations.

Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s director of public health, said: “My report this year is a celebration of the wonderful LGBTQ+ community we have in Croydon, and a call to action for everyone to be allies to support them. I am grateful to all the people who took part in the video. We now have a much better understanding of the challenges they face in Croydon including poorer health outcomes, and inequalities accessing health and care services.

“We need to continue asking questions to better understand the health and wellbeing needs our LGBTQ+ community. Despite legal advancements, LGBTQ+ individuals still encounter discrimination in many areas of society. I make several recommendations to improve this so that we can achieve a more inclusive, equitable and healthier Croydon.”

Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon, said: “This is a timely report highlighting the unique health and wellbeing needs of our LGBTQ+ community. Croydon is one of the most diverse boroughs in the capital. As London’s Borough of Culture, we have held a range of events in the past year celebrating our communities and their rich heritage. The more we understand about our LGBTQ+ population, the better we can work together to make Croydon a welcoming place for everyone. Together, we want to achieve a borough where everyone is treated with the respect they deserve and create a place that all residents are proud to call home.”

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