Theme B

Sexuality, identity & mental health impacts on well-being and inclusion (UNE, LT)

Developed by UNE Faculty of The Professions and School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences with partners.

Objectives

1. Develop research programs with research capacity building, around 3 linked questions:

  • How to achieve inclusive communities where people of different sexualities are not subject to stigma, discrimination and to reduce risks of suicide and poor mental health.
  • How best to educate young people in rural regions about relationships between sex, sexualities, sexual health, and identity and mental health and well being.
  • How to address barriers to successful delivery of best practice sexual and reproductive health and mental health services in rural communities given depression, psychological distress and alcohol and drug use are predictors of high sexual risk behaviors, and that gay and lesbian people are poorly served by current services.

2. Focus research and research capacity building on three priority population groups identified in the Second National STI Strategy 2010-2013: young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and gay men and other men who have sex with men. Each of these has particular needs and challenges associated with living in rural communities, and diverse sexualities and identity are highly associated with poor mental health; in turn, poor mental health is closely linked to risky sexual behaviours.

3. Achieve policymaker and researcher awareness of findings through active publication, briefing papers, and feeding results into Elements 2 and 3, as well as university teaching.