Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning
People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ) come from all walks of life, encompassing all races and ethnicities, religions, and social classes. It is estimated that approximately 3% of the U.S. population identifies as LGBTQ. Research has shown that members of the LGBTQ community face an increased risk for a number of physical and mental health threats when compared to their heterosexual peers. Some of the increased risk has been attributed to sexual behavior, but others are linked to social and structural inequities, such as the stigma and discrimination, and the denial of civil and human rights. Indeed, discrimination against LGBTQ individuals has been associated with high rates of mental health disorders, substance abuse and suicide. Further, LGBTQ youth experience higher rates of violence, victimization, and homelessness.
Research has also found disparities in behavioral health care for LGBTQ individuals. Studies have suggested that barriers to treatment services often include discrimination, provider hostility and insensitivity, strict binary gender (male/female) segregation within programs, and lack of acceptance in gender-appropriate recovery groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the perspectives and needs of LGBT people should be routinely considered in public health efforts to improve overall health and eliminate health disparities.
Parents of transgender kids can do a lot to support their children. Check out this video of parent-led affirmations for their transgender children:
The Coalition for Whole Health, of which the Global Alliance is a member, has issued "Consensus Recommendations to Protect and Strengthen Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Care." Read the full list of recommendations.
The Consensus Workgroup has released recommendations on behavioral health issues in the criminal justice system for the 115th Congress and Trump Administration. The Global Alliance was a supporter and co-signer of these recommendations.
Listen to our new podcasts, including one on burdens among caregivers of veterans and one on acculturation among Latino/a immigrants.