Promoting Good Practices for Mental Health Facilities in Working with LGBT Clients with Serious Mental Illnesses
Because LGBT people are members of a minority group that is the target of social stigma, mental health facilities and their personnel who serve people with serious mental illness face important challenges in addressing the needs of LGBT clients. These challenges include the following:
Educating staff to foster inclusive behaviors
Addressing harassment and intolerance of peers who are also in the treatment program
Implementing training requirements for personnel
Developing program policies that recognize the needs of LGBT clients
Acknowledging the emotional and sexual lives of LGBT clients
The following list of resources below is provided to assist people who work with LGBT clients in addressing these issues.
Understanding the Concerns of LGBT Clients
Experiences of LGBT People with Serious Mental Illnesses: Raising Issues
Report by Dr. Alicia Lucksted with accounts of experiences of LGBT people using mental health facilities. Presents perspectives of both behavioral health care providers and clients. Also offers best practices with LGBT clients in mental health programs.
Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality (En español)
A brochure from the Office of Public Communication, in collaboration with the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns, answering basic questions about sexual orientation, homosexuality, and listing some of the available resources.
Answers to Your Questions About Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity (PDF, 136KB)
A brochure from the Office of Public Communication, in collaboration with the APA Task Force on Gender Identity, Gender Variance, and Intersex Conditions, answering basic questions about transgender and listing some of the available resources.
Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Clients
Approved as APA Policy by the Council of Representatives, February 18-20, 2011
Report of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation
A six member task force conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). They concluded that such efforts are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm, contrary to claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates.
Report by the Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance
The six-member task force spent more than two years reviewing the scientific literature, as well as APA policies regarding transgender issues. It was also charged with developing recommendations for education, professional training and further research into transgenderism, and proposing how APA can best meet the needs of psychologists and students who identify as transgender or gender-variant.
Recommendations and Policies for Developing Affirmative Therapeutic Environments
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Multicultural Action Center
Provides basic steps toward creating a LGBT affirmative mental health practice. Also offers recommendations for policies and LGBT friendly resources.
Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Initiative for Behavioral Health Services for LGBT Individuals
Shares the recommendations of a workgroup consisting of LGBT consumers, family members, advocates, and county representatives produced to implement inclusive policies & services of LGBT consumers. These recommendations address the goal of mental health providers providing culturally affirmative environments with clinically competent behavioral health care for LGBT consumers.
Webinar on “Welcoming LGBT Consumers into Recovery” Presented by Rainbow Heights Club
Webinar facilitated by Dr. Christian Huygen presenting issues of LGBT people with mental illness, and tools for mental health workers to be more competent when providing therapy. Also provides general insight on the social experience of LGBT people.
Program Models for LGBT Clients
Rainbow Heights Club
Organization in New York founded by Dr. Christian Huygen that provides socialization, support, peer advocacy, and a safe place for LGBT people with mental illness to gain additional assistance in emotional recovery and wellness.
A sense of belonging
Christian Huygen has created a club where mentally ill LGBT patients feel safe.
Monitor, February 2011
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center
Clinic based in Los Angeles, California that provides low-cost healthcare, including mental health and social support services for LGBT people.
General Resources on Serious Mental Illness
How Stigma Interferes With Mental Health Care (PDF, 301KB)
Research published in the American Psychologist journal on the impact of stigma on benefiting from mental health care
Report on Serious Mental Illness Among Adults (PDF, 76KB)
Report issued by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defining serious mental illness and capturing statistical information regarding prevalence
The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America
Statistics providing prevalence and median age of onset of mental disorders in the United States.