According to World Health Organization, LGBTQI(1) people face barriers regarding their access in health services, because of stigmatization and continuous discrimination. Often, LGBTQI people avoid using provided health services and usually they do not complete the necessary treatment for their health, as they experience stigmatizing behaviours. In addition, there are cases recorded where health professionals have denied providing services to LGBTQI people. Surveys indicate that academic and vocational training of health professionals in LGBTQI issues is so defective that very often LGBTQI people have to “train” the medical staff for their own medical care.

The aim of the program is to create – through participatory educational and awareness raising activities for healthcare professionals – an accepting environment and equal access for LGBTQI people, while trying to fight discrimination in the healthcare sector, on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, while emphasizing the rights and needs of LGBTQI people.

To begin with, homophobic, lesbiophobic, biphobic and transphobic perceptions and attitudes of health professionals will be recorded. Consequently, guidelines and educational tools will be developed to help with the development of appropriate attitudes towards LGBTQI people within the healthcare system. Finally, a series of focused trainings will be administered to health professionals, using the above tools.

The participators of P.A.R.A.DI.S.O. program are nine partners from three countries of the European Union (Greece, France and Netherlands):

  • the Department of Sociology of National School of Public Health
  • the Faculty of Nursing of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • the Lesbian & Gay Community of Greece – O.L.K.E.
  • the Association for Regional Development and Mental Health – E.P.A.P.S.Y.
  • the Hellenic Midwives Association
  • the Consulting Company CMT- Prooptiki
  • the European Forum for Primary Care (Netherlands)
  • the Établissement Public de Santé Maison Blanche (France)

Τhe Program P.A.R.A.DI.S.O (Participatory Approach for Raising Awareness and fighting Discrimination against Sexual and gender Orientation in healthcare sector) is funded by the European Union – Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program (REC-DISC-AG-2016) and its duration is 16 months.

(1) Acronym: Lesbian (L), Gay (G), Bisexual (B), Trans (T), Queer (Q) and Intersex (I) people.

The PARADISO project will deploy its potential through 5 Work Packages:

  •  Monitoring of the project
  •  Respecting deadlines
  •  Quality assurance
  •  Budget monitoring
  • Assessing the existing perceptions and beliefs in terms of homophobic viewpoints and discrimination attitudes against LGBTQI people in the health sector professionals
  • Identifing to what extent health professionals are LGBTQIQ culturally competent
  • Assessing the existing level of preparedness of the health professionals to welcome and treat LGBTQI people
  • Providing practical guide booklets on “dos and don’ts on LGBTQIQ people in the health sector” with the contribution of LGBTQIQ people through an inclusive and participatory method.
  •  Development of a training toolkit
  •  Provide specialized training, generally information and guidelines in terms of LGBTI definition, rights and needs to health and mental care professionals
  •  Enhance the skills of health and mental care professionals regarding their approach towards LGBTI individuals
  •  To promote common understanding of the needs of LGBTI people to health and mental care professionals
  • Piloting an LGBTQI culturally competent healthcare structure and service provision.
  • Assessing the establishment of an LGBTQI culturally competent structure.
  • To introduce the explicit steps required for a change procedure towards an LGBTQI inclusive structure and service provision into an organisation.
  • To assess the change of attitudes towards LGBTQI individuals of healthcare staff (psychologists, psychologists, social workers, ergotherapists, administrative staff, volunteers etc.).
  • To acquire significant feed-back for improvement of the training material
  • Promoting the project’s objectives and goals regarding the rights of LGBTQI people.
  • Raising awareness of the rights and needs of LGBTQI people in terms of health issues.
  • Combating stereotypes and negative perceptions against LGBTQI people from healthcare professionals.
  • Promoting the project’s methodology and concept in LGBTQI and Health professionals’ media,