PHA funds new sexual orientation awareness training in Coleraine

THE Public Health Agency (PHA) is helping to raise awareness and understanding of the issues affecting lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people by funding a series of training workshops for healthcare professionals across the Northern region.

The most recent one was held in Coleraine last Tuesday.

The training also included appropriate information on assistance and support, which can be offered to improve the health and wellbeing of local LGB people.

Estimates suggest that lesbian, gay and bisexual people constitute 5–7% of the total adult population.

These groups experience considerable sexual, physical and mental health inequalities and that homophobia and hetrosexism are the main barriers LBG people face when accessing services .

Madeline Heaney, PHA Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement (North), said: “The training in Coleraine was attended by 23 health professionals working in local communities and the statutory sector.

“It increased understanding of the issues affecting people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual and helped the participants offer appropriate support and assistance to LGB people.

“We know that the health outcomes for LGB people are poorer than for the general public, so this training will help to address the specific needs of LGB people and so improve their health and wellbeing.”

Community, voluntary and statutory health service providers and policy makers are also invited to the new ‘Sexual orientation awareness training’, funded by the PHA and delivered in partnership with the Rainbow Project and Lesbian Advocacy Services Initiative (LASI).

The local training session will be held at the Parish Centre, Chapel Road, Cushendall, on February 22.

For further information on the remaining training events, and to book your place, contact Malachai O’Hara on 028 9031 9030 or via e-mail