Sexual & Gender Diversity
Individuals who identify themselves within the broad category of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning) are an increasingly visible population. Research has consistently shown that LGBTQ-identified individuals suffer higher rates of depression, suicide, anxiety, smoking, substance abuse, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than the general population. Since many providers are not experienced with treating this community, these statistics may stem from disenfranchisement and stigma, rather than any pathology inherently associated with LGBTQ identity. This article provides tips for how to create an environment in which these clients feel welcome.