World Health Day is an annual event observed on April 7th to raise awareness about the importance of global health issues. This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) chose the theme “Health For All” to motivate action to tackle the health challenges of today ̶ and tomorrow. In Canada, the Gender, Sexual, and Relationship Diversity (GSRD) community faces unique health challenges that require attention and action.
One of the biggest health disparities for the GSRD community is mental health. Studies have shown that GSRD individuals are at higher risk of experiencing mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, due to social stigma and discrimination. In addition, transgender individuals face even higher rates of mental health issues due to the lack of access to gender-affirming healthcare and the high rates of violence and harassment they experience.
Another health concern for the GSRD community is sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Despite the fact that GSRD individuals have higher rates of STIs compared to the general population, many healthcare providers are not trained to provide GSRD-inclusive care. This can result in GSRD individuals feeling uncomfortable seeking out healthcare services and not receiving the appropriate care they need.
To address these health disparities, it is crucial for healthcare providers to receive training on GSRD-inclusive care. This includes learning how to ask patients about their sexual orientation and gender identity, providing gender-affirming care for transgender individuals, and creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for GSRD patients.
Additionally, it is important for the Canadian government to invest in GSRD health research and provide funding for GSRD-specific health programs. This can help increase awareness about the unique health challenges faced by the GSRD community and lead to the development of effective interventions and policies to address these issues.
On this World Health Day, let us remember the importance of Health For All, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. By taking action to address the health disparities faced by the GSRD community, we can create a world where everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy and fulfilling life.