Southern LGBTQ community have fair-to-poor mental health: survey
More than half of the southern LGBTQ community living in the US have reported fair to poor mental health, according to a survey conducted from the 13 states.
The Campaign for Southern Equality and Western North Carolina Community Health Services conducted the 2019 Southern LGBTQ Health Survey with responses from 5,617 participants.
This was the largest-known survey of LGBTQ health issues in the South.
Southern LGBTQ community and mental health issues
According to the survey, all identities on the LGBTQ spectrum experience relatively poor mental health. However, others have it worse.
62.1 percent of bisexual respondents and 73.5 percent of pansexual respondents described their mental health as fair or poor, which is 20 percent higher than gay, lesbian, and straight participants.
Moreover, rates spiked for bi and trans young people ages 18-24, which were exacerbated for those lower incomes.
Meanwhile, more than 20 percent of transgender respondents said they don’t feel their healthcare needs are being met. This is nearly twice the number of their cisgender counterparts.
More than one in ten transgender people reported rarely or never having positive experiences with physical health providers, or almost triple the number of cisgender participants.
For more details in the report, check out the link here.
The report also has recommendations for medical providers, training facilities, advocacy organizations, funders, government officials on how improve LGBTQ Southerners’ health equity and access to quality care.
Comprehensive health examination of southern LGBTQ community
In the report, the researchers said they want to steer the public conversation on the health of southern LGBTQ community towards a comprehensive, systems-level examination.
The report reads: “We conducted this survey to gain greater understanding and more nuanced insight into the specific experiences that LGBTQ Southerners have with their health and with accessing health care.”
Those living in the rural areas experience health disparities as they rated their overall physical and mental health lower than those in the urban areas.
Likewise, they also reported less access to quality care, less comfort seeking medical care in their communities, and higher rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and self-harming behaviors.
Lastly, they have lower rates of feeling their health needs are being met.
The survey also reported that rates of Southern LGBTQ living with HIV is more than 15 times higher than the national average. More than half of participants admitted that they rarely or never get tested for HIV.
Among African Americans, 22 percent said they are living with HIV. 13 percent said the same of all gay male respondents.