Lesbian, Bisexual Women Struggle To Get Care for Mental Health

The health of queer women is at risk, especially for those who seek treatment.

A new study is finding that queer women are struggling to find and receive care for their mental health and dealing with addiction.

According to a study published in BJGP Open Journal, Australian women who were attracted to other women were more likely to not seek professional help when struggling with addiction or mental health. Over 500 women were included in the study and totaling 41.1% of them actually receiving professional help for mental health or addiction issues. The largest demographic represented amongst them were ages 18–25.

An interesting correlation was found between LGBT-inclusive doctors and women who sought treatment. The research determined that women who were out to their doctors and felt a connection to the LGBT community were also more likely to seek treatment. In this case, a doctor's inclusivity and knowledge of LGBT identity and how this affects access to healthcare could mean healthier women overall.

University of Melbourne professor Ruth McNair stated that this was partially caused by a fear of being discriminated against by health professionals: "It’s even more important for people who have suffered some discrimination and that’s one of the underlying reasons for their drug or alcohol use. Same-sex attracted women are consistently less likely than heterosexual women to use alcohol treatment services, despite reporting more problematic drinking."