The LGBTQ+ community faces unique challenges and stresses throughout their lives that can have serious effects on mental health. At Handel Behavioral Health, we strive to make everyone feel safe and comfortable on their journey in treatment. By providing care to our LGBTQ+ population, we strive to help folks feel comfortable in being true to themselves and striving to meet their goals! In doing so, we hope to improve mental health symptoms, as well as decrease the isolation that many LGBTQ+ folks feel in the community. Contact us today and begin your mental health journey with an experienced LGBTQ+ friendly counselor.
LGBTQ+ Counseling for Individuals, Families, and Couples at Handel Behavioral Health
The professional counselors at Handel Behavioral Health are committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community by providing excellent clinical care in a safe and supportive environment. We have counselors and therapists serving the entire Massachusetts community from our offices in Amherst, Franklin, West Springfield, and Wilbraham.
Our compassionate team of LGBTQ+ mental health professionals understand the unique stresses and mental health issues specific to this community. From identity issues to family and relationship struggles, our experienced staff is ready to help you better understand your own mental health in order to help develop more sustainable thought-patterns and coping mechanisms throughout all stages of your life and mental health journey.
If you would like to set up a consultation with one of our counselors or therapists you can call us at 413-343-4357 or reserve an appointment online and we will reach out to you!
Why is LGBTQ+ Therapy Important?
Studies have shown that many members of the LGBTQ+ community have faced challenges in finding competent treatment. Many folks have been faced with obstacles due to perceptions of healthcare providers, and anxiety and fear around seeking treatment.
There are often fears connected to coming out, and not feeling seen and validated in healthcare settings. Historically, many people who identify with the LGBTQ+ community have been turned away from providers due to their sexuality, gender, or gender expression.
Some examples of mental health concerns facing the LGBTQ+ community are as follows:
- Suicide Attempts: Sadly, the risk of a suicide attempt is doubled for LGBTQ adults, and it’s even greater in LGBTQ teens and young adults. The survey from The Trevor Project found that shockingly, 40% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in 2021.
- Trauma: Traumatic events like bullying, discrimination, harassment, and hate crimes disproportionately affect members of the LGBTQ community. According to data from the FBI, 16.7% of hate crime victims were targeted due to sexual orientation.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Studies have found that adolescents who identify as LGBTQ had a significantly greater risk of PTSD than heterosexual youth.
- Substance abuse: Drug and alcohol abuse is found to be higher among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults compared to heterosexual adults. Specifically:
- 9% of LGBTQ adults reported opioid abuse
- 6% reported marijuana use
- 4% had an alcohol use disorder (alcoholism)
- These rates are all higher than rates in heterosexual individuals.
- Eating disorders: LGBTQ+ individuals are at an increased risk of suffering from eating disorders, serious mental health conditions that can have devastating physical and emotional consequences. Consider these statistics reported by the National Eating Disorders Association:
- Transgender individuals have higher rates of eating disorders
- Approximately 42% of men with eating disorders identify as gay
- Lesbian, bisexual, and mostly heterosexual females are twice as likely to struggle with binge eating behavior.
- More than 80% of LGBTQ youth stated that COVID-19 made their living situation more stressful – and only 1 in 3 LGBTQ youth found their home to be LGBTQ-affirming.
(All statistics can be found at High Focus Centers Website)
Find LGBTQ+ Counseling in Massachusetts
In having a sense of community, and togetherness, we are showing LGBTQ+ folks that they are seen, understood and valid. It is so especially important for members of the LGBTQ+ community to feel connection and feel as though they are safe to be their true authentic selves in their treatment.
In having an LGBTQ+ competent therapist or counselor, folks are able to explore and process their intersecting identities. For more information about our services and counselors in Massachusetts, please give us a call at 413-343-4357 or visit our counselor’s bios online to reserve an appointment.