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Pride Month: Fostering a culture where LGBTQ+ youth, adults feel valued and supported

Pride Month, celebrated in June, is a time to honor and uplift the voices of those within the LGBTQ+ community, promote inclusion and allyship, and recognize the challenges that remain for many LGBTQ+ youth and adults as they strive to live life as their authentic selves.

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is committed to fostering a safe, supportive and welcoming environment where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, feels they belong.

“Even though Pride Month lasts just 30 days, our commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion is year-round,” said Devereux Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical/Medical Officer Yolanda Graham, M.D. “We all deserve to be who we are, and be seen for who we are, without fear of discrimination or judgement. We gain a sense of freedom when we can claim our own identities. At Devereux, we believe it is critical to acknowledge each person’s unique identity and support them on their journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance.”

LGBTQ+ mental health

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), lesbian, gay and bisexual adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, while transgender individuals are nearly four times as likely as cisgender individuals (those whose gender identity corresponds with their birth sex) to experience a mental health condition.

In addition, lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are more than twice as likely as their heterosexual peers to experience persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, while transgender youth are twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms; seriously consider suicide; and attempt suicide compared to cisgender lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and questioning youth.

“The statistics are staggering. Being LGBTQ+ does not automatically mean you will experience a mental health challenge in your life, but it does mean you are at a higher risk due to mistreatment and stigmatization,” explained Graham. “We want LGBTQ+ youth and adults to know they do not have to suffer in silence – help is available.”

Resources for youth, adults

If you are experiencing a mental health challenge – you do not have to do it alone. Look before for a list of LGBTQ+ resources.

Supporting the LGBTQ+ community

Devereux is proud to be a behavioral healthcare leader for the LGBTQ+ community, supporting educational, policy and clinical changes that create safe spaces to help individuals strengthen their overall emotional health and well-being.

“We work with gender-diverse individuals to create gender support plans, which inform clinicians on how best to support them. We display images on our campuses and use language in our materials that demonstrate inclusiveness. To make sure our LGBTQ+ team members feel seen, safe and supported, we offer a national LGBTQ+ Employee Resources Group,” Graham noted. “While we are incredibly proud of our LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts, we see growth as a journey. We are committed to listening, learning and improving so every person who walks through our doors feels affirmed and empowered to thrive.”

Learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s efforts to support the LGBTQ community.

  

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