LGBTQ+ mental health resources for all ages to help increase care access
On June 15, 2022, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex individuals. The order directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education to invest in and expand services for LGBTQ+ people of all ages. This includes protecting access to needed health care for LGBTQ+ children and families, and preventing LGBTQ+ suicide by expanding youth access to suicide prevention resources.
Many of the executive order's directives emphasize the need to protect and support LGBTQ+ community members, both young and old. Access to affirming mental health treatment is an important component of this support, but it is not always easy to come by. Many LGBTQ+ people face significant barriers to receiving care and treatment.
Human Right Campaign’s recent report called The State Of Mental Health In The LGBTQ Community says: “LGBTQ people experience alarmingly high rates of mental health challenges. It disrupts their daily lives and can be life-threatening, especially for children and youth…The truth is that mental health challenges in the LGBTQ community are largely due to stigma, discrimination and bias in all of its forms. LGBTQ people also face gaps in receiving adequate mental health care.”
LGBTQ+ community resources and support
If you are unsure where to begin in your search for mental health care services for yourself or a loved one, the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) has a wealth of information. They also highlight the needs of specific groups within the LGBTQ+ community, such as veterans and individuals with disabilities.
LGBTQ+ youth are an especially vulnerable group. According to the Trevor Project's 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year and 60% of LGBTQ youth who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it. To help meet the need for LGBTQ+ youth mental health resources, there is a new online app called imi that includes affirming resources, activities and stories.
LGBTQ+ seniors are another group that deserves specialized care and support. Isolation and a lack of community can lead to emotional stress in all elders, and LGBTQ+ seniors are no exception. According to SAGE, a national advocacy and services organization for LGBTQ+ elders, LGBTQ+ older people are twice as likely to be single and live alone and four times less likely to have children. SAGE's LGBTQ+ Elder Hotline (877-360-LGBT) is one of the resources available to help LGBTQ+ seniors minimize isolation and loneliness.
We’re here to help
Regence members looking for specific LGBTQ+ care and resources are encouraged to log in to their member account at regence.com. Creating one takes just a few minutes. You can search for in-network providers, review your benefits and even message live with Regence Customer Service. We’re also available to help over the phone by calling the number on the back of your member ID card.