Sunshine Behavioral Health | Editor, Author, Content Writer
You are a unique individual with your own preferences and needs, and when it comes to treatment, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that works best for everyone. This is particularly true when it comes to finding LGBTQIA+ friendly recovery. Being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community presents special challenges, and the best way to address substance abuse, treatment, and recovery is to seek recovery resources that support LGBTQIA+ clients and the unique issues they face.
What Is LGBTQIA+ Friendly Recovery?
LGBTQIA+ people face risk factors for addiction and struggles in recovery that some therapists might not understand. Finding an LGBTQIA+ friendly-recovery center, therapist, or sponsor can be game-changing for someone in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Gender nonconforming people may be prone to feelings of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, and people in recovery may struggle with co-occurring disorders like PTSD, personality disorders, mood disorders, and other conditions.
One of the key aspects of LGBTQIA+ friendly recovery is affirming therapy. In affirming therapy, the therapist or counselor validates and affirms a client’s LGBTQIA+ identity. Affirmation and validation empower the client to embrace their sexual orientation and gender identification as they are.
LGBTQIA+ friendly recovery means the staff, support crew, therapists and counselors, and peers in a treatment center or recovery program should be supportive and well-informed of the LGBTQIA+ community and the common issues people in the community face.
Why Is LGBTQIA+ Friendly Recovery Important?
There is a strong link between mental well-being and sexual orientation or gender identity. Sobering statistics suggest LGBTQIA+ adults are at least twice as likely to be diagnosed with one or more mental health issues than heterosexual adults, while transgender adults are about four times more likely than cisgender adults to have a mental health condition. And a survey of transgender people found that an alarming 40% of respondents had attempted suicide at least once.
The numbers don’t lie: The community needs proper mental health care to address these issues. And individuals in LGBTQIA+ recovery need LGBTQIA+ friendly-recovery resources in order to effectively address these problems and maintain sobriety and mental well-being in the long term. Comprehensive care can help resolve the myriad of additional risks and problems LGBTQIA+ people in recovery face every day. Every member of the LGBTQIA+ community seeking recovery deserves an LGBTQIA+ friendly support system that truly understands them and the stressors they face.
Finding LGBTQIA+ Friendly Recovery
There are a few really good ways to find the best LGBTQIA+ friendly recovery resources for you. You could query using internet search engines, ask your local LGBTQAI+ center for help, or search online databases for nearby resources.
What To Look for in LGBTQAI+ Recovery
Licensing – Make sure the recovery center, treatment program, counselor, or therapist you choose is licensed in the state they practice in.
Specialization – In addition to catering to LGBTQIA+ clients, you may want to ensure your chosen facility or program offers the options you need, like affirmative therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, suicide prevention, etc.
LGBTQIA+ community – While it isn’t a requirement that an LGBTQIA+ person have an LGBTQIA+ specific recovery program, there are some benefits to it. LGBTQAI+ staff, peer groups, and therapists can understand your struggles because they’ve likely had their own similar experiences. And LGBTQIA+ clients may feel more comfortable talking about issues unique to them with someone who is also LGBTQIA+.
Free consultation – Most recovery programs offer a free consultation before you decide to work with them. This provides an opportunity to get a better idea of the program’s approach to therapy and LGBTQAI+ issues. Some questions you may want to ask during the initial consultation include:
You may also want to ask questions about the type of therapy provided, how long the program is, whether there are inpatient and outpatient options, and what kind of mental health conditions they treat.
Additional LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Resources
If you’re part of the LGBTQIA+ community and struggling with substance abuse, addiction, or recovery, the mental health and LGBTQIA+ friendly recovery resources listed here can help you improve your life.
You may need to contact several sources before finding the right one, but with a little time and research, you can find the LGBTQIA+ friendly recovery options that are best for your needs.
namica.org - Mental Health and LGBTQI Communities: Challenges, Resources, Community Voices
samhsa.gov - Co-Occurring Disorders and Other Health Conditions
Sunshinebehavioralhealth.com - Home Page
screening.mhanational.org - How do I find LGBTQ friendly therapy?
sdsisters.org - The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
outcarehealth.org - OutCare Public LGBTQ+ Healthcare Resources
samhsa.gov - SAMHSA
thetrevorproject.org - The Trevor Project
glbthotline.org - LGBTQIA+ National Help Center
suicidepreventionlifeline.org - National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
outcarehealth.org - OutCare Public LGBTQ+ Healthcare Resource