Mental health problems can affect anyone but being LGBTQ+ means you are more at risk of experiencing poor mental health (Stonewall Report,2018). Being LGBTQ+ doesn’t cause these problems. But some things LGBTQ+ people go through can affect their mental health, such as discrimination, homophobia or transphobia, social isolation, rejection, and difficult experiences of coming out.
We also know that LGBTQ+ people might struggle in accessing support due to various barriers.
Healthcare discrimination – LGBTQ+ people can experience negative remarks, being outed without their consent, inappropriate curiosity and pressured to access services to change or question sexuality/gender (Stonewall, 2018). Therefore, it is not surprising that a healthcare setting which should be a safe space to share personal information can often not feel this way. In particular when accessing mental health care we need to feel able to be open and honest about the struggles we are dealing with in a non-judgemental space.
Confidentiality – it’s not always safe for us to be out or we may not have a safe space to be able to talk from home so it is more likely that our community may have concerns about information being shared.
Lack of community – in the LGBTQ+ community there can be a common theme of isolation due to societal, social and familial pressures, homophobia and transphobia. This can mean that we are not as likely to be supported in accessing mental health treatment or see this an option.
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We acknowledge these difficulties exist and our service aims to offer a safe and non-judgemental therapeutic space. IAPT offers short-term talking therapies to give you space to explore your emotions and learn techniques to manage your symptoms of anxiety and depression.
We offer a range of therapies depending on your needs, such as guided self-help sessions with a therapist, computerised or 1-1 cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling. We currently run a wellbeing workshop targeted to people from the LGBTQ+ community and we can signpost you to specialist services if needed.