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Dr Justin Varney

Dr Justin Varney is the National Strategic Advisor on Health and Work at Public Health England.

Dr Varney leads our strategic approach to health, work and worklessness issues and our external and cross-government engagement in this area. He is also our expert advisor on LGBT inequalities as well as providing specialist public health advice to a range of topics and programmes.

Dr Varney has previously led a range of programmes across PHE including our work on physical activity, health and worklessness and workplace health as well as managing the teams leading our work on sexual, reproductive health and HIV prevention, community pharmacy and allied health professionals.

He works closely with colleagues in NHS England and the Civil Service Employment Policy Team to support the public sector to become an exemplar of employee health and wellbeing as well working to support the DWP/DH Joint Unit on Health and Work in their work to close the disability employment gap.

Dr Varney is PHE’s senior liaison for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and have developed and led much of our work to support the implementation of the Sport Strategy and working closely with colleagues in Sport England and Arts Council England towards our shared aim of getting everybody active every day. He has also represented PHE at the International Association of National Public Health Institutes, leading their collaboration to input to the WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity and represent them at the Scientific Technical Advisory Group at WHO.

Prior to joining Public Health England, Dr Varney was a Joint Deputy Director of Public Health in East London working between the Primary Care Trust and Local Authority. He trained in General Practice before specialising in Public Health Medicine and has worked across both primary and secondary care settings.

Justin has a special interest in lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans health inequalities and domestic violence as a public health issue. He has previously sat on the Board of several charities including the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence and the National LGBT Consortium of Voluntary Sector Organisations.

Mental health challenges within the LGBT community

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans individuals, like anyone, will experience mental health challenges and distress during their lifetime. However the evidence both from the UK and internationally highlights increased levels of common mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and …