A new cross-sector steering group; that looks at the mental health needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender people, has been started by Kent and Medway NHS Health and Social Care Partnership Trust.

Working in partnership with service users, Voluntary and Community Sector organisations and other statutory agencies, the forum aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBT community in Canterbury and East Kent.

Members already include Canterbury City Council, New Perspectives, East Kent Health Promotion, KMPT service users and Pride in Canterbury.

The group hopes to raise awareness of LGBT issues and assist with improving service delivery to the community by working more closely together.

Sheree Bell, who works for the Equality and Diversity Team at the mental health trust said: “This is an important piece of work that will help to improve the health and wellbeing of a very marginalised section of our community. I hope that by bringing all interested parties around the table we can make full use of a wide range of experience, expertise and shared resources “.

One of the first thing the steering group plans to do is to run an awareness raising event for VCS and statutory service providers in Canterbury.

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