Mental health of the lesbians in the United States

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Social Work

Document 1

The lesbians account for 1. of the total American population above the age of 18 years. In several researches by Mental Health America, it was found that most of the individuals in lesbians group avoid medication and withhold information about their sexuality to doctors and medical practitioners (centre for disease control). According to report and researches, 8% of this group which identifies them as lesbians are denied health care services. These statistics range from 1 out of 5 individuals and 30% respectively (Black et al, 2000). Lesbians are among the minority group in the world and continue to face mental health risks. The majority of the negative effects that are affecting the lesbians’ mental health include discrimination, stigma, homophobia and unfair judgment by the society. The most registered mental health problem to the lesbians include depressions, bipolar disorder, and anxiety (Meyer, 2013). The major risks associated with these mental disorders are drug use and suicide. For being the minority group civil and human rights of this group are denied. Mental health of the lesbians in many kinds of research has been associated with psychiatric disorders, victimization, and experiences of violence. This group contains different social class, ethnicities, religions, and races (Cochran et al, 2003). This has effects on the personal life of the victims, gender, family and social acceptance due to their sexual orientation as well as their personal safety. Sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) researches enable acquiring information from health records and national surveys. There are high reported cases of violence according to Centre for Disease Control which is about 46.

Sign up to view the full document!

The prevalence of mental health illness to lesbians is 3 times more likely to affect them compared to other individuals in the transgender group (centre for disease control). This is the experience in the suicidal attempt, thoughts, and harm. This percentage ranges from 38-65% in substance abuse and alcohol compared to the general population which is 5-10%. Concern of lesbians’ mental health to the profession of social work Health care providers have been at the core in propelling the discrimination against lesbians and the LGBT. Some of the problems that face lesbians while trying to look for health services include, denied health care, the harsh language on the patient, blame on the patients' gender as the cause of the illness. women of the United States population are lesbians (centre for disease control).

Sign up to view the full document!

Most of the problems that they encounter include violence, prejudice, discrimination and sexual orientation. Lesbians are at a risk and do not receive timely, effective and proper treatment. According to research done in Canada, the probability of lesbians’ to consult a health practitioner is higher than that of other people due to their unmet mental needs (Corrigan, 2004). Lesbians are more likely to be diagnosed with mental illness than their heterosexual counterparts (Cochran et al, 2003). This field is complex due to different stands the social workers take during their work ethics (Koh & Ross, 2006). The policies are diverse and require to be met as studies have found that social workers develop negative attitude towards the lesbians’ minority group, they also have limited knowledge on how to deal with these people and they are biased.

Sign up to view the full document!

Existent policies and laws related to lesbians mental health and their impact on the population in terms of political and social justice issues Some of the policies addressing the LGBT group include Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy which was formulated in 1993, Federal Defence of Marriage Act, Sodomy Laws, Affordable Care Act, legalization of gay marriages, right to marry court ruling of 2015. These policies and laws have led to depression anxiety and mental distraction. Recently the announcement by president trump to bar transgender people from serving in the military serves to be an employment discrimination against lesbians. Foster care and adoption agencies under this law are empowered and on this account have exemptions on their roles based on religious and moral objections. The Equality Act brought about the protection of the marriage and equality for all Americans.

Sign up to view the full document!

Despite this act protecting the marriage of the LGBT, it discriminates people based on the employment, school, ownership of homes and application. There are still discriminatory laws that exist in the United States ranging from schools to employment discrimination. These policies result into fear of being fired and reduce the comfortability of an individual in coming out in the treatment of mental illness. This bill has reduced the number of youths who are subjected to mental distress. Reparative therapies for young adults in the United States have been banned in changing their gender identity and sexual orientation. There are a lot of implications on these laws and policies to the mental health of the lesbians. Laws that do not promote discrimination are implied to have caused lower suicide acts for the lesbians due to the protection of their human rights (Rostosky et al, 2009).

Sign up to view the full document!

Promotion of registration of these communities as Democrats’ and same-sex couples are some of the implementations the policies and laws on lesbians have caused in the United States. This is an evidence-based treatment for mental health among the Lesbians and other transgender clients. The approach is based on dealing with the psychological concerns which include sexual compulsivity, alcohol use, and sexual risk behavior. Anxiety and depression are the most significant problems of lesbians’ community mental health (Eaton, 2014). Psychologists report coming into conduct with the lesbians and other transgender groups on issues concerning their health. Due to the mental illness of most lesbians, some other risks include sex risk behavior and drug abuse compared to the heterosexual group. This enables this community to express their opinions, needs, and desires openly without fear of the social judgment.

Sign up to view the full document!

The principle recommends the lesbians community to express themselves in a convenient and safe environment. The Transdiagnostic approach principle on the restructuring of minority stress cognitions enables the lesbians' community to be aware of their emotions, needs and wants as all are all valid unlike in minority stress where all these are invalid. This makes the lesbians internalize and anxiously expect rejection which may be chronic in mental illness. These biases on minority stress can be modified through cognitive therapy and exercises. The Transdiagnostic approach in most studies and researches has been applied and resulted in the reduction in mental illness among the LGBT community through the reduced depression. Poor mental health exacerbated by discrimination and stigma has contributed to mental stress to individuals of the lesbians’ community. Most of the individuals become vulnerable in many social institutions including families, schools, and religious communities (Eaton, 2014).

Sign up to view the full document!

This becomes very negative and compromises the health of the affected individuals through limits on their protection and rights. This approach is effective in dealing with mental issues of the lesbians' community. This information is according to National Alliance on Mental Illness. The CDC reports indicate that the lesbians are twice more likely to commit suicide compared to their heterosexual peers with a recorded 25% transgender youths having attempted suicide (centre for disease control). The social discrimination which this group experience range from sexual and physical violence, bullying and social isolation. It is the role of the social workers to increase support to the lesbians so as to increase their mental health which often is caused by the society and the policies which should be protecting them. Social workers need to know about disparities in the mental health of the lesbians and the LGBT for proper intervention and assessment of this population.

Sign up to view the full document!

Hellman, R. E. Sudderth, L. K. Satisfaction with mental health services among sexual minorities with major mental illness. Hamilton, A. Coleman, E. Stigma, mental health, and resilience in an online sample of the US transgender population.  American journal of public health, 103(5), 943-951. Bradford, J. Cochran, S. D. Emerging issues in research on lesbians' and gay men's mental health: Does sexual orientation really matter?.  American psychologist, 56(11), 931. Cochran, S. M. ESTIMATING PREVALENCE OE MENTAL AND SUBSTANCE-USING DISORDERS AMONG LESBIANS AND GAY MEN FROM EXISTING NATIONAL HEALTH DATA.  Sexual orientation and mental health, 143-166. Corrigan, P. How stigma interferes with mental health care.  Psychology of sexual orientation and gender diversity, 1(3), 244. Fassinger, R. E. The hidden minority: Issues and challenges in working with lesbian women and gay men.  The counseling psychologist, 19(2), 157-176. State-level policies and psychiatric morbidity in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations.

Sign up to view the full document!

 American journal of public health, 99(12), 2275-2281. Hatzenbuehler, M. L. McLaughlin, K.  American Psychologist, 61(6), 607. Herek, G. M. Confronting sexual stigma and prejudice: Theory and practice.  Journal of Social Issues, 63(4), 905-925. htm Ingram, H. Schneider, A. L. DeLeon, P. Social construction and policy design.  Family process, 39(1), 67-81. Mays, V. M. Cochran, S. D.  The health of sexual minorities: Public health perspectives on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations. Springer Science & Business Media. Meyer, I. H. Northridge, M. Grov, C. Parsons, J. T. A minority stress—emotion regulation model of sexual compulsivity among highly sexually active gay and bisexual men.  Health Psychology, 34(8), 829. Williamson, I. R. Internalized homophobia and health issues affecting lesbians and gay men.  Health education research, 15(1), 97-107. World health organization 2015.

Sign up to view the full document!

From $10 to earn access

Only on Studyloop

Original template

Downloadable