Practitioner support for the Gold Coast's LGBTIQAP community

23 November 2016  Network Story

Until coordinator Jade Mirabito started an MHPN network, there wasn’t a way to bring together practitioners and service providers who support the Gold Coast’s LGBTIQAP+ community.  Already into its second year, the group of between 20 to 30 practitioners meet regularly and usually discuss topics focused on sexuality and gender.  Each month’s meetings feature high quality professional development to improve practitioner knowledge of local providers and services, and to identify gaps.  

“Not only are there a lot more referral pathways in the Gold Coast since this group began, but the network has increased my knowledge of service providers in the area. Now I know exactly who I can trust when I refer our young people,” said Jade.

By expanding the skills, knowledge and confidence of practitioners, the network aims to improve service delivery for Gold Coast LGBTIQAP+ people. The MHPN supported network was set up as part of the Transformative Practice Project (TPP), which was initially funded through Partners in Recovery (PIR), and is currently funded through Wesley Mission Queensland. 

The network is also an opportunity for new clinics to let practitioners know about their services and capacity to take referrals.  A local GP and psychiatrist who opened a new gender clinic found that being a part of the network created connections for the clinic, raised its profile, and improved referral numbers.   The network recently completed a survey which indicated that 74% of members found that being part of the network enhanced their cultural awareness and organisational practice. 

“This is a welcoming network and our members feel comfortable here.  In the past there hasn’t been support on the Gold Coast for practitioners who work with LGBTIQAP+ people.   This network was the first one, and since we began a number of others have started.  Our members often speak about the differences that this network provides.  They are extremely pleased with the support it provides,” Jade said.   

For more information about joining this network contact Angela Miller on a.miller@mhpn.org.au or call 03 8662 6643.

Join or start a network to improve referral pathways and develop peer support in your local area.  More information about joining or starting a network here.

Picture: MHPN network members Jade Mirabito and Rachel Rive hold up workshop activities which have helped develop key areas for the network.