HACSU member & Consumer Consultant Julie D works for Forensicare - Victoria's forensic mental health service.
In the lead up to the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT Day), held on 17 May, the Thomas Embling Hospital (TEH) social work and Consumer Consultant teams created posters to display around each Forensicare site, to provoke discussion and raise awareness of the social exclusion, violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) people . The posters ignited interest in IDAHOBIT Day from staff and patients alike, who began asking questions about the importance of the day when posters were being put up on unit walls. IDAHOBIT Day was also added to Forensicare’s intranet calendar to ensure staff were aware of the event.
On the morning of IDAHOBIT Day, work experience students in our social work team delivered rainbow cupcakes and a large rainbow cake to each TEH unit, symbolising the LGBTIQ community, which created much excitement from the staff in the nurse’s stations. Staff shared the cakes with patients in celebration of diversity, and discussed what the cakes represented and what each of us can do to create a more respectful, inclusive and safer environment for all people at TEH. A rainbow flag was also displayed in reception in recognition of the importance of IDAHOBIT Day.
While this was occurring at TEH, our Chief Social Worker, Senior Consumer Consultant, and Lead Social Worker, delivered rainbow cupcakes and rainbow sponge cakes to Forensicare prison sites, to ensure IDAHOBIT Day was celebrated, and awareness raised, across the organisation.
This is the first time IDAHOBIT Day has been celebrated at Forensicare, which is an important step forward in showing our support of LGBTIQ consumers, colleagues, family and friends, and creating an inclusive and safe environment for people of all backgrounds. Thank you to everyone who joined our celebration of IDAHOBIT Day in standing against discrimination in support of the LGBTIQ community.
Cakes were kindly prepared by Medirest.