The LGBTQ+ community faces many complex and distinct health needs that those who are cisgender and/or heterosexual face. As the health barriers and disparities continue to grow, it’s essential to know what resources you have to help treat or prevent many of the health risks LGBTQ+ people face. As a community that matters, these disparities place them in a vulnerable position from people who refuse to or don’t attempt to understand them as people. Through this simple guide, we’re here to help provide resources and advice for receiving specialized LBGTQ+ care.
The LGBTQ+ Guide to Health and Wellness
First and foremost, so much work needs to be done to provide the LGBTQ+ community with the environment they need to receive proper healthcare. Disparities among people who have discriminatory attitudes about LGBTQ individuals compromise their quality of healthcare, and even as healthcare policies continue to try and change, sometimes those healthcare policies falter even to provide them with basic healthcare because the healthcare system itself is so vast, ever-expanding, and most often problematic to the people they’re trying to help.
The needs of LBGTQ people are complex, yet also simple at the same time. Meeting one person’s needs should also mean that everyone within that community should also receive the same respect they deserve as people. But not every LGBTQ+ person will have the same experiences. While conversations continue within the community about their problems, healthcare providers must stand up and take the initiative to be more open to their voices, better understand their position, and be compassionate with their healthcare needs. Each person faces health problems that correlate with their gender or sexual identity needing care. These include:
- Greater Risks of HIV and STDs: For those cisgender gay/lesbian or bisexual/pansexual men and women face the increased health risk of STDs and HIV, and regular testing should be part of their healthcare plan.
- Higher Rates of Substance Abuse: Substance abuse, such as alcohol, tobacco, and prescription medications, is reported to be higher among cisgender lesbians and bisexual women, as those factors can contribute to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- Higher Risk of Mental Health Issues: Not only do all members face the social pressures of daily life, but these challenges can also contribute to additional problems. Insecurities about their identity, lack of family support, and generational trauma contribute to a higher rate of depression, anxiety, and body image issues.
- Higher Risks of Suicide: The risk of suicide is prominent among LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender people. Studies have shown that men, no matter their identity, are four times more likely to commit suicide than women, and about 40% of transgender people have attempted suicide throughout their lifetime.
Finding resources for LBGTQ+ healthcare feels scarce, and it can take a lot of time to find the right healthcare providers to give them the healthcare services they need. However, there have been improvements, as initiatives such as the Queer Health Access and the Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index can provide information about providers in your area and better connect with an LGBTQ+ affirming provider.
Contact Linda Clark, NP for LGBTQ+ Healthcare
At Linda Clark, NP, Linda Clark provides thoughtful, personalized healthcare for patients throughout Newport Beach, CA, and through telemedicine appointments nationwide. From sexual to mental health, Linda Clark and her team will be here to help support you and connect you to the resources you need most. For more information, call (949) 757-1150 to schedule an in-person or online appointment.