Accessing Mental Health Services Safely and Securely for the LGBT Community in Indianapolis

The LGBTQ+ COE provides behavioral health professionals with essential information to support the LGBTQ+ population. In today's world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people are coming out of the closet at younger ages, and public support for LGBT issues has increased significantly. Despite this, LGBT youth are still at a high risk of having compromised mental health. This article provides an overview of the current context for LGBT youth, followed by a review of current science on the mental health of LGBT youth.

Research over the past decade has identified risk and protective factors for mental health, which point to promising directions for prevention, intervention and treatment. Legal and political successes have laid the foundation for advances in programs and practices that can promote the mental health of LGBT youth. Implications for clinical care are discussed and important areas are identified for new research and practices. VA healthcare employees in Northern Indiana receive training in clinical care that addresses the unique needs of LGBTQ+ veterans. Our trained LGBTQ+ veteran care coordinators are fully equipped to support your health, well-being, and dignity and that of your family.

MAP works to ensure that all people have a fair chance to seek health and happiness, to earn a living, to care for their loved ones, to be safe in their communities and to participate in civic life. Significant gaps still exist in studies that identify intrapersonal strengths or coping strategies that may allow some LGBT youth to overcome the stress of minorities. Inclusive curricula for LGBT people introduce historical events, people, and information specific to the LGBT community into student learning (Snapp et al). In recent years, several states have debated or enacted laws specifically relevant to the mental health of LGBT youth. For example, Poteat (201) found that young people who engage in more discussions about LGBT people with their peers and who have LGBT friends are more likely to engage in behaviors that affirm the LGBT community and to intervene when they hear homophobic comments (see also Kosciw et al).At the level of educational programs and practice, teachers clearly play a key role in establishing a positive school climate for LGBT people and all students (Russell et al).

These findings highlight the role of emotion regulation in minority stress processes and the potential of clinical approaches that directly address rumination and other maladaptive cognitive responses related to LGBT stigma. The area shaded in pink in Figure 1 (along the x-axis) illustrates this change in the growing social acceptance of LGBT people throughout history. Despite the large amount of literature that highlights disparities in symptoms and suffering, there are relatively few studies that explore the presence and prevalence of mental health disorders or diagnoses among LGBT youth. Therefore, this new body of research identifies several psychological mechanisms that can be strategic constructs to be addressed in clinical settings with LGBT youth. In recent years, there have been similar debates about diagnoses related to gender identity that currently remain in the DSM (see the sidebar Changes in Gender Identity Diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). On one hand, there have been drastic social changes with respect to the social acceptance of LGBT people and issues, yet on the other hand there has been unprecedented concern regarding the mental health of LGBT young people.

In addition, the meanings of the word LGBT and the experiences of LGBT people should be understood as an intersection with other prominent personal, ethnic, cultural and social identities (Consolation et al). At the same time, given the magnitude of the mental health problems faced by LGBT youth, it is alarming that there are so few empirically supported approaches to working with LGBT youth in a variety of settings ranging from schools and community organizations to clinical treatment. At the same time, critical knowledge gaps continue to prevent the most effective policies, programs and clinical care from addressing the mental health of LGBT youth. This article provides an overview on how members of the LGBT community can access mental health services safely and securely in Indianapolis.

Alana Gholston
Alana Gholston

Evil bacon evangelist. Freelance music aficionado. Typical coffee scholar. Lifelong travel maven. Hardcore bacon ninja. Evil bacon expert.

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