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Research Snapshot: LGBT people face more mental health issues – and more barriers

November 29, 2012

Up until the 1970s, homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder. Moving away from this definition meant that the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community needed more supportive mental health services. In fact, because of discrimination, LGBT people experience more depression, mood and anxiety issues, substance use disorders, and suicide attempts than heterosexuals. They also access mental health services more than heterosexuals. However, dissatisfaction with mental health services among this population is high and a lack of provider knowledge about LGBT issues is apparent.

Researchers from Ontario and BC identified service providers who were “experts” in providing mental health care to LGBT people from the Rainbow Health Ontario database. Through interviews, they found that, because of discrimination, LGBT people face more mental health issues than others—and more barriers to service. These findings may be critical for supervisors and program directors who need to enhance LGBT-specific training in their organizations or agencies.

To get the full story, check out EENet’s new Research Snapshot of the article, “System-level Barriers in Accessing Supportive Mental Health Services for Sexual and Gender Minorities: Insights from the Provider’s Perspective,” by John McIntyre, Andrea Daley, Kimberley Rutherford, and Lori E. Ross. The article appeared in Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, vol. 30, no. 2: 173-186.

The Snapshot is available here.

Research Snapshots are brief, clear language summaries of research articles, presented in a user-friendly format. To read EENet’s summaries of other articles, visit eenet.ca.

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