HELP-SEEKING BEHAVIOURS OF ADULTS FROM SEXUAL AND GENDER MINORITIES LIVING WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS
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Increasing research has highlighted certain health disparities experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other gender/sexual minorities (LGBTQ+) peoples, particularly in relation to poorer mental health outcomes (Keuroghlia, Ard, & Makadon 2017; Kidd et al., 2016). Using a mixed-methods design, this study explored help-seeking with various mainstream, traditional, and/or complementary medicine practitioners among LGBTQ+ and heterosexual, cisgender adults living with psychological distress in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). An online survey revealed that psychological distress, experiences of mental health discrimination, and help-seeking behaviours differed based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and mental health diagnosis. A focus group revealed unique experiences of LGBTQ+ patients that influence treatment adherence and outcomes, and emphasized how discrimination, patient-practitioner rapport, and insurance coverage were primary factors affecting help-seeking. These findings indicate that the health care system in the HRM needs to be improved to provide more accessible mental health services to LGBTQ+ patients.