As a clinic, Meridian Behavioral Health endorses and follows the guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association to expand psychology’s role in advancing health and in decreasing health disparities for the LGBT community. We have a number of clinicians that specialize in working with members of the LGBT community. If you would like more information, or would like to request a first visit with a therapist, you can either fill out the contact form on this page and we will get in touch with you or you can also call us directly at (815) 344-5061.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning populations experience unique health disparities. Rather than lumping all of the needs of these individuals into one umbrella term, it is important to recognize that each category represents its own distinct populations with unique concerns. Also, within these categories are sub-populations that form based on race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, etc. The goal at Meridian Behavioral Health is to respect each individual’s specific and unique needs as they seek care from our clinic.
Why Seek Mental Health Treatment?
Mental health is a crucial component to overall health and wellness. Each person experiences emotional ups and downs throughout life. For the LGBT community, there is often an added layer of challenge due to prejudice, stigma, or biases. There can be stressors about an individual coming out regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), the LGBT community is three times more likely to experience mental health concerns such as Major Depression or Generalized Anxiety Disorder. NAMI goes on to report that there are higher rates of substance abuse in the LGBT community (20-30%) when compared to the general population (9%). Similarly reported, the LGBT community is at higher risk for suicide due to lack of support from peers, harassment, and mental health conditions.
Tips for Talking With Your Provider:
- Ask your provider if they are comfortable working with the LGBT community.
- If you are comfortable, communicate your sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or questions about your orientation or gender to your provider.
- Be honest about anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse. Your provider is there to support you on your journey to wellness and health. They are there to help and not to judge.
- Ask your provider for needed referrals or for help finding a support group. Even if your provider does not have that information their self, often times they are connected to other providers who do have access to needed information.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding therapy and the LGBT community, please don’t hesitate to call and speak with one of our therapists. We are happy to answer questions, help look into your insurance benefits or explain how counseling might be beneficial to you. If you have questions, and would like to speak to one of our mental health professionals, contact us today.