prideHealth directory of health and wellness ready for use

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 12:10pm

By Cybelle Rieber, prideHealth Co-ordinator

prideHealth has launched the prideHealth Directory of Health and Wellness Providers, an important tool in providing appropriate care to all Nova Scotians.

The online directory is designed to help link gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) people with health care providers and wellness practitioners who have some understanding of GLBTIQ culture and experience. These professionals are knowledgeable about some of the unique health care issues of these diverse communities and can provide a respectful and welcoming atmosphere and health care experience for them.

The directory was created to help reduce the barriers that many GLBTIQ people face when accessing health and wellness services.

Most health care providers have no intention of making anyone feel unsafe or acting in discriminatory ways. However, due to lack of knowledge, understanding, and our own internalized biases, this unconscious discrimination sometimes occurs here in Nova Scotia and creates barriers to health care for GLBTIQ people.

In Nova Scotia and across Canada, the GLBTIQ population:

  • Has higher mortality rates for treatable diseases
  • Has higher rates of depression and anxiety
  • Has higher attempted suicide rates
  • Accesses health care less and waits longer to do so 

prideHealth, along with other organizations, are contacted on a regular basis by patients wishing to find health and wellness professionals who have are well versed in providing care to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Sheena Jamieson, support coordinator at the Youth Project, which provides support and services to youth  around issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, says her program receives many such calls.

“The Youth Project gets frequent calls for GLBTIQ safe and knowledgeable health care, not just from youth but people of all ages,” she said. “They're looking for safe spaces where they don't have to explain what it means to be who they are and for health care professionals who can treat them with respect. This directory is a great starting point!”

She says the ability for people to find their own health care providers, so they can access the care they need with less fear and more confidence, is empowering.

Health care providers can sign up

While there are many health and wellness providers in Nova Scotia providing excellent knowledgeable, culturally appropriate care to GLBTIQ people, not all of them are currently captured in the directory.

However, the directory provides a way for those health and wellness providers to identify themselves and provides a way for GLBTIQ patients and clients to find them. This directory is easy for health and wellness providers to sign up for and easy for the public to use. Individuals and organizations who want to be included in this directory must offer a direct health or social service for residents living in the province of Nova Scotia and they must clearly state that the service provided is GLBTIQ positive.

They must also be licensed or certified, where applicable and they and must agree withfour basic statements. prideHealth is currently promoting this directory to health and wellness providers to ensure a diverse cross section of providers who can be searched. In May, this directory will be much more widely promoted so that all GLBTIQ Nova Scotians know of its existence to help increase access to health and wellness services across the province.

This directory prideHealth Directory of Health and Wellness Providers is currently available to sign up with or search.

For more information or to register, please go to and the prideHealth website and click on the prideHealth Directory of Health and Wellness. For specific questions, please contact Cybelle Rieber at prideHealth@cdha.nshealth.ca or call (902) 473-1433.