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Promoting improved health outcomes for LGBT Jamaicans

  • Amount funded: £60,000
  • Year: 2023
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Locations: Jamaica
  • Grant stream: Open grants call

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Jamaica face issues such as homelessness and lack of employment opportunities, leading to poor health outcomes as a result of discrimination and stigmatisation.

Project partners
Equality for All Foundation Jamaica
TransWave Jamaica
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How we are helping

This project aims to improve access to inclusive healthcare for LGBT people in Jamaica through research, engagement with healthcare providers and policy-makers, social media campaigns to raise awareness of the barriers faced by LGBT communities and to challenge societal stigma.

About the project

An Awareness, Attitude & Perception Survey in 2019 highlights a negative attitude towards LGBT people in Jamaica among a significant portion of the general public (57%). These societal attitudes can lead to displacement, homelessness or issues gaining employment: 51% of respondents to a needs assessment survey of LGBT Jamaicans in 2019 felt that being open about their identity affected their ability to get jobs. Unemployment and homelessness can result in poor health outcomes including disproportionately high rates of HIV and mental health issues. Employers and government are instituting changes to address these issues; more corporations in Jamaica are developing and implementing diversity and inclusion policies, and the Ministry of Health & Wellness consistently partners with LGBT organisations to improve the accessibility of public services.

Equality for All Foundation Jamaica will work with TransWave Jamaica to build on this progress by engaging with LGBT community leaders and government officials from the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the National HIV Response Programme to address the health disparities experienced by LGBT communities. The project will use public education campaigns and develop toolkits and guides to raise awareness among healthcare providers and policy-makers of the need for institutional shifts to improve health service delivery to LGBT people in Jamaica.

This will be achieved by:

  • carrying out an assessment to identify unmet needs with reference to social determinants of poor health outcomes among members of the LGBT community
  • engaging with healthcare providers to identify gaps and barriers to more inclusive healthcare, and working with them to develop a toolkit on approaches to healthcare for LGBT people within a Jamaican context
  • using social media campaigns to raise awareness about challenges faced by LGBT people, including homelessness and unemployment
  • hosting a series of dialogues with policy-makers to discuss opportunities to more effectively address healthcare needs of LGBT people
  • raising awareness of mental health issues among LGBT communities and parents of LGBT youth, through a combination of sensitisation sessions and the production of tools to help address mental health challenges.

As a result of the project, it is hoped that the capacity of healthcare workers to provide inclusive healthcare to LGBT Jamaicans will be strengthened; access to healthcare for LGBT people in Jamaica will be improved; and there will be greater public awareness of the challenges faced by LGBT Jamaicans.

Project Partners
Equality for All Foundation Jamaica

Equality for All Foundation Jamaica’s current thematic areas of work are broad and cross-cutting, based on their current operational framework. In each thematic area, they aim to address the lived experiences of LGBT persons, identify policy gaps and make recommendations for legal and policy reform. Their work covers the areas of health and wellness, youth development, social services, employment, media and communications, access to justice and recently, climate change and environmental issues.

TransWave Jamaica

TransWave Jamaica is a non-governmental organisation working to advance the health, welfare, and wellbeing of the transgender community in Jamaica and the Caribbean. Founded in 2015, TransWave's advocacy efforts are centred on key areas which promote the inclusion and protection of the transgender and gender non-conforming community. These include legal gender recognition, equitable access to non-discriminatory healthcare, education, housing, and employment.

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