Changing my Practice

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This section is all about the practical things we can do in our day to day practice, and in broader service design to provide mental healthcare that’s safe for Rainbow rangatahi. 

Changing My Practice

As practitioners supporting the wellbeing of young people and whānau, you work with Rainbow people. Rainbow young people need to be able to access services that can understand and support them, and where practitioners are responsive to young people’s identities and diverse experiences.

Supporting Rainbow rangatahi is about being self-aware, validating and non-assuming. This is often demonstrated in the language you use. Background knowledge about sex, sexuality, and gender diversity is essential to understanding Rainbow rangatahi, though make it a focus only when relevant to the person in front of you. If it is relevant, keep in mind that their sexuality does not define everything they are - they will have likes, dislikes, passions and hobbies beyond their sexual or gender identity.

These resources provide guidance on how to work effectively with Rainbow young people and whānau - by building on your own skills to enhance your practice and by considering how service environments, practices and policies can become safer and more inclusive.




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1 Much like in mental health, Rainbow culture is filled with acronyms. You might know us as LGBT+, LGBTQIA+ or even SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression). For the purposes of this resource, we’ll be using the term Rainbow. We’ve chosen to do this due to its inclusive nature and because it aligns with the precedent set by Youth Organisations from this community, e.g. Rainbow Youth.

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