The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ+) community represents a diverse range of identities and expressions of gender and sexual orientation. In addition to these identities, members of the queer community are diverse in terms of age, race/ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status. This complexity is important to understand as a unique and valuable aspect of the LGBTQ+ community that can result in a strong sense of pride and resiliency. While belonging to the LGBTQ+ community can be a source of strength, it also brings unique challenges and mental health considerations.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community may be more at risk for suicide, substance use, trauma, and homelessness because of homophobia and transphobia. LGBTQ-identifying individuals may also experience discrimination in the healthcare system or barriers to accessing adequate gender-affirming healthcare or LGBTQ-affirming mental health services. Facilitated by Emerson Douglas, MSSA, LISW, and in partnership with NAMI Greater Cleveland, this presentation will provide an overview of how to navigate healthcare and mental health service delivery systems as an LGBTQ-identifying person and how to locate LGBTQ-affirming physicians and mental health providers.