There are important considerations when seeking LGBTQI-competent care for mental health services. Here are a few steps to find an LGBT-friendly mental health care provider.
Step 1: Think About What You’re Looking For in an LGBT-Friendly Mental Health Care Provider
While searching for an LGBT-friendly mental health care provider you are looking for, it is essential to consider the following to receive the best medical care and mental health care possible:
Look for recommendations from transgender people, bisexual people, or others in the LGBT community. Dating apps specified for the LGBT population could be a suitable method of finding a recommendation from a fellow peer.
You might find it easier to locate an organization or community center that offers essential services for LGBT people, such as HIV testing and counseling. The provider might not be necessary to specialize in LGBTQI issues if your mental health condition isn’t related to sexual identity or gender dysphoria. Most cities will have educational programs tailored for the LGBT population. Remember that non-LGBT+ people still understand health disparities and mental issues among transgender people and work with this underserved population to help fight against discrimination in health care for transgender people.
Suppose you are transgender and seek a mental health professional to write a letter of support for gender-affirming medical care or legal documentation change. In that case, you should seek a provider who understands the insurance or legal requirements of support letters.
Step 2: Seek Referrals
Many websites offer services for finding mental health professionals by searching their databases. Some even let you narrow down results by showing only psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors who specialize in LGBT issues and gender dysphoria. When seeking health care services, insurers often provide information numbers for finding local providers who accept them and offer LGBTQI mental health services in the business profiles.
There are plenty of ways for people who identify as LGBT to find qualified professionals. Some LGBTQI organization websites include guides for such events, services, and jobs so that the LGBT community does not feel like isolated individuals. You might want to ask someone who has used them before if they’re any good.
Step 3: Give them a Call
If you’re having trouble making initial contact with a mental health professional, then don’t be afraid to ask for help. Transgender individuals often feel self-conscious when they’re out at public events or on the phone because they don’t want others to think they sound different from the way they naturally speak. You may be hesitant to call someone because you don’t want them to think badly of you. Try asking a friend or family member to help out.
Suppose you want to avoid wasting time and energy. When you talk to them during the first phone conversation, you might determine whether these medical professionals have any prior experience with LGBT health. If not, you could discuss some basic questions like “how do you feel about treating somebody who identifies differently than their assigned gender?” In that case, you might consider starting by asking this question at the beginning of an interview instead of waiting until later when you’re already there.
Step 4: Ask Questions about their Practice
Your provider expects and welcomes questions from their patient or client because it allows them to help you better understand what’s most important to you. Be upfront when meeting with someone who specializes in mental health care. Ask them which type of services they offer and ask if their practice accepts clients from diverse backgrounds. Ask them about the mental health services for the LGBT population. You deserve an LGBT friendly mental health care provider. Don’t be afraid to teach them! They’re going to learn anyways; if they don’t know something, then at least explain it, so they understand why it matters. Before you ask for something, think carefully about whether you need it or not.
You should find someone who doesn’t use conversion therapy, electronic therapy, or reparative therapies because these practices are dangerous and unethical. Your healthcare provider should treat your mental health issues and possibly depressive symptoms, not try to convert you to their way of life.
Step 5: Build a Relationship with your Provider
You might need to call several providers before finding one who works best for you. Even if you find an LGBT friendly mental health care provider cannot treat your mental health issues the way you would like, then shop around and try to find a health care provider who specializes in treating mental disorders and depressive symptoms in your demographic. You should never feel bad about seeking a second opinion!
Keep in mind that when looking for someone who will help you improve your mental health, you want someone who will be able to provide support and guidance. You can state your needs by asking specific questions about them and then finding someone who can help you meet those needs.
Visit our website to learn more about how our mental health services for the LGBT+ population can better serve you.
Please call 911 if you are experiencing a medical emergency or to call our admissions department for support (801) 499-9316