Sexual Minorities, Social Acceptance and Mental Health

The attitude towards sexual minorities has changed dramatically since the middle of the twentieth century. At present, the majority of Americans, for instance, do not have a negative attitude towards LGBT community, and the level of acceptance is quite high (66%) (Russell & Fish, 2016). Irrespective of these optimistic trends, sexual minorities are still prone to discrimination and even assault. The LGBT youth is specifically vulnerable due to this population’s developmental peculiarities.

Teenagers have to cope with various mental issues including depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation (Bostwick et al., 2014). At this stage, people search for social support and acceptance of their peers, which can be difficult to attain for an LGBT representative. The insight obtained during this research will have a positive effect on my practice as I will be able to better address the needs of this group.

The most relevant finding to my mental health practice is the information related to cultural peculiarities of LGBT youth and the existing health promotion programs and policies. As far as the cultural aspects are concerned, it is found that culturally diverse sexual minority groups tend to have a similar overall trauma although many of their experiences differ (Bostwick et al., 2014). Ethnicity has an impact on the experiences of LGBT youth as these people are more likely to plan or attempt suicide, feel sad or depressed, and inflict self-harm. However, it has been found that some cultural groups are more vulnerable.

For example, Latino, Native American and Pacific Islander Americans have considerable higher odds of developing mental health disorders (Bostwick et al., 2014). This lack of resilience can be associated with cultural peculiarities as people pertaining to these groups are associated with strong religious values that disapprove same-sex relationships. Russell and Fish (2016) state that family support and peer acceptance are instrumental in the proper development of LGBT youth and their coming out.

The current research also suggests that this country has made numerous effective steps to help sexual minorities to live in a friendly environment where their needs are respected and met. Healthcare and educational programs aimed at enhancing resilience in the target population have proved to be specifically beneficial for LGBT youth (Herrick, Egan, Coulter, Friedman, & Stall, 2014).

The implementation of diverse policies has contributed greatly to raising awareness of these populations and their needs as well as increasing their acceptance in the modern society. Bullying associated with sexual orientation is effectively handled with the help of certain standards and regulations. Young people may feel more protected and less neglected, which positively affects their mental health.

In conclusion, it is necessary to note that this research has had a significant effect on my understanding of the issues these people face and resources available to assist LGBT youth. In my practice, I will consider the cultural peculiarities of LGBT adolescents and will try to help them develop their resilience. I will try to involve patients’ family, which is critical when helping LGBT youth. LGBT teenagers and their family members should come to common grounds. It is also important to inform young people about their rights, available programs and resources, which will help this population to be more confident. At the same time, I feel I still need to know more on the matter. It can be necessary to learn more about the effectiveness of specific interventions for this population and their close ones.

References

Bostwick, W. B., Meyer, I., Aranda, F., Russell, S., Hughes, T., Birkett, M., & Mustanski, B. (2014). Mental health and suicidality among racially/ethnically diverse sexual minority youths. American Journal of Public Health, 104(6), 1129-1136. Web.

Herrick, A. L., Egan, J. E., Coulter, R. W. S., Friedman, M. R., & Stall, R. (2014). Raising sexual minority youths’ health levels by incorporating resiliencies into health promotion efforts. American Journal of Public Health, 104(2), 206-210. Web.

Russell, S. T., & Fish, J. N. (2016). Mental health in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 12(1), 465-487. Web.

Sexual Minorities: Responses

How has this presentation influenced the care you will provide to this population? Why?

I have always understood that LGBT adolescents have to face considerable challenges related to bullying, assault, discrimination, and such mental health issues as depression and suicidal ideation. This research provided me with insights into the cultural aspect of the problem, so I will pay more attention to the cultural peculiarities of such groups as Latino, Pacific Islander, and Native Americans. I will continue reviewing the interventions addressing the needs of these populations.

What cultural implications are associated with this specialty population?

LGBT youth is often marginalized in terms of certain cultural domains due to the existing traditions and values (Bostwick et al., 2014). Same-sex relationships are often regarded as inappropriate, and people from their early childhood are told about the sinful and wrongful nature of certain inclinations. Teenagers who have to undergo tremendous changes during adolescence are unable to cope with the gap between their own nature and the inflicted norms and traditions. Therefore, mental health care professionals should help young people to address these problems.

What resources are available in your community for this population? What gaps in service do you see? What can be done to address these gaps?

Unfortunately, the resources available for LGBT youth in my community are confined to educational programs. Anti-bullying regulations, as well as the provision of the information concerning sexuality and sexual minorities, help young people to search for professional help or find resources to address their needs. Online resources are also available, but it is still important to pay more attention to this population in order to ensure the mental health of adolescents.

What more do you need to know in order to best serve this population as a PMHNP?

I know quite a lot about the needs of the target population, available resources, major challenges, and some effective measures to assist these people. However, I still need to know more about the effectiveness of different interventions based on ensuring these people’s mental health. I want to learn more about group therapy instruments that can be employed in my community where such options are non-existent.

Reference

Bostwick, W. B., Meyer, I., Aranda, F., Russell, S., Hughes, T., Birkett, M., & Mustanski, B. (2014). Mental health and suicidality among racially/ethnically diverse sexual minority youths. American Journal of Public Health, 104(6), 1129-1136. Web.

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