HSE Rainbow Badge Initiative 2023

Please click here for the HSE Rainbow Badge page

Mike Healy from Linn Dara CAMHS with the support of Matt Swain from Linn Dara Schools sought the views and opinions of young people attending Linn Dara Schools about the HSE Rainbow Badge Initiative.

One of the main point’s received from young people is that the traditional flag while representative of the community, it was not in keeping with the majority of symbols/flags that young people would use today. The 2021 Intersex Inclusive flag was seen by the young people as the more accepted and most representative flag in their peer group so a request was made to update the HSE Rainbow Badge design to this.

Mike, Matt and the design team (Capiche Design) decided that the new flag should not be diluted with the addition of any other branding, that we as the HSE are allies and as such the new concept of the Rainbow Flag side by side with the new HSE branding and stepped back from the flag was agreed.

The new design was launched at the 2nd “A Day of Rainbow’s” Conference held in collaboration with Children’s Health Ireland in June 2023”.


The HSE Rainbow Badge is a small but powerful visual symbol to LGBTI+ people, their families and staff that the wearer offers open, non-judgmental and inclusive care and will treat them with respect. Wearing the rainbow badge signifies the person’s commitment to breaking down barriers and improving access to health care.

Mental health issues are significantly more common in young people who identify as LGBTI+, yet many feel afraid to disclose their sexual or gender identity to healthcare professionals for fear of discrimination. Many healthcare professionals feel they lack the confidence and knowledge to work with LGBTI+ young people and their families.

Events like the Pride Conference will help to break down these barriers and ensure equitable access to healthcare for LGBTI+ young people and their families in CHI and Linn Dara CAMHS.

Pride Conference 2022

 HSE Rainbow Badge Initiative Pride Conference 2022 for the staff of Linn Dara Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Linn Dara Schools and Children’s Health Ireland (CHI).


Overall background of the HSE Rainbow Badge Initiative

The aims and objectives of the HSE Rainbow Badge Initiative

  • Improve education to increase awareness of issues faced by LGBTI+ people and empower staff to be more inclusive in their care 
  • Engage with other organisations to increase awareness across the HSE
  • Explore the experiences of badge wearers and patients to ensure we are breaking down barriers

The HSE Rainbow Badge was introduced to Ireland in 2019 by Linn Dara CAMHS and was launched in 2021 in CHI.

Visibility still matters; this badge signals that our staff are here to listen and support LGBTI+ young people, their families and staff. However it is  more than just the badge; it’s a concept that emphasises the substance behind the symbol, with the emphasis on education for staff, taking responsibility and showing support.

 Please see the attached resources to support this initiative;

    1. HSE Rainbow Badge Practise Guide for Healthcare Professionals
    2. HSE Rainbow Badge Implementation Toolkit

Healthcare delivery is advancing in meeting the needs of this vulnerable population; it is essential that all healthcare staff are supported in building their confidence and competence in a sensitive and empowering way. When staff are supported, they in turn support young people and families in accessing the healthcare they need.