LGBTQ+

Equilibrium Mental Health, LLC (EMH) condemns oppressive forces and ideologies including homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and other forms of prejudice that disenfranchise sexual and gender identity minorities. 

LGBTQ+ and
Mental Health Care

Undoubtedly, LGBTQ+ individuals experience cultural stressors that significantly impact psychological functioning including the coming out process, social rejection, trauma, substance abuse, homelessness, stigmatization, and suicide risk. LGBTQ+ individuals are twice as likely as their heterosexual counterparts to experience a psychiatric disorder in their lifetime. As a result, commonly experienced mental health problems include depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, in comparison to their heterosexual peers.

 

The role of intersectionality, or the idea that an individual’s complete identity is composed of different aspects across race, class, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and/or spirituality, is critical to acknowledge in treatment planning. 

Equilibrium Mental Health seeks to understand the role of stigmatization, discrimination, violence, and prejudice on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community. LGBTQ+ clients are welcome to share their individualized experiences, values, and impressions.

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Same-sex attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal variants of human sexuality. As such, EMH acknowledges that mental health treatments designed to alter sexual orientation are ineffective and harmful. Sexual orientation and gender identity are two separate constructs yet interrelated. EMH providers are dedicated to advancing their knowledge of best practices for LGBTQ+ clients, while keeping abreast of current literature. Ultimately, EMH providers seek to understand and dismantle the role of stigmatization, discrimination, violence, and prejudice toward the LGBTQ+ people.

Each LGBTQ+ individual possesses a unique story about self-discovery. EMH providers are honored to support and celebrate your journey.​ EMH treats LGBTQ+ individuals and their families with dignity and respect.

EMH providers utilize self-reflection to identify their personal attitudes, beliefs, and values, privilege, and potential bias that stem from a heteronormative society. Gender is also acknowledged as a spectrum of varying identities, as opposed to a binary conceptualization.

EMH is staunchly against modes of psychotherapy that seek to alter sexual orientation and/or gender identity, including Conversion Therapy or “Reparative Therapy.” Such interventions are not only ineffective, but studies indicate that they often worsen mental health problems in LGBTQ+ individuals.

LGBTQ+ Youth

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), LGBTQ+ adolescents are four times as likely to have attempted suicide than their heterosexual peers. In addition, these suicide attempts typically involve more lethal means than their heterosexual counterparts. LGBTQ+ youth often face bullying, physical violence, depression, anxiety, truancy, and substance use (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2018). 

During family-focused treatment, clients can expect that EMH providers will work with parents/caregivers to foster acceptance of their LGBTQ+ children. Evidence suggests that families who adopt an accepting view of their LGBTQ+ children reduce the risk of depression, suicidal behaviors, and substance abuse. EMH providers are dedicated to building LGBTQ+ youth’s social supports, self-esteem, and overall psychological welfare.​

 

 

 

We recognize the singular uniqueness of transgender clients, culture, mental health needs, and lived experiences, separate (and interrelated) to the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community. Given that trans affirming practice standards, research, and policy rapidly evolve, EMH identifies as a provider with emerging competence. Through cultural humility, EMH providers aspire to deliver gender affirming care via ongoing education, training, supervision, and research review. In our quest to provide the most supportive care, EMH is happy to connect clients to additional mental health supports with greater specialization.

Emerging Competence for Transgender and Gender Expansive Care

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Brief Glossary of Terms

Ally: Member of a majority group that works to end oppression against LGBTQ+ individuals.
 

Asexual: an individual who has no significant interest in sexual activity.
 

Bisexual: an individual who is attracted to men and women.

Cisgender: a person whose gender identity is in line with the gender assigned at birth.

Gay: a man who is attracted to men

Gender Expansive: A general term used to describe individuals who expand conceptions of gender expression and identity beyond the scope of societal gender norms.

Gender expression: outward expression of gender (Example: Clothing, mannerisms, and activities)

Gender identity: a person’s deeply held sense of their gender, regardless of what they were assigned at birth.

Gender non-conforming: people whose experiences, behaviors, interests, or identities fall outside stereotypical gender expectations.

Genderqueer: a person who feels their gender identity is outside the binary.

Heterosexism: the presumption that all people are straight.

Intersex: a person whose biological sex is ambiguous; not synonymous with transgender

Lesbian: a woman who is attracted to women

LGBTQIA: an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Ally, or Asexual

Transgender: people who gender identity is different from their assigned gender at birth.

Transphobia: irrational fear or hatred of transpeople

Community Helpers

In addition to receiving affirmative care, your EMH provider can support your connection to any of the LGBTQ+ affirming resources below. These resources serve at the local, state, and national levels, across a range of topics including anti-discrimination efforts, family issues, sexual health, suicide prevention, and homelessness.

Affirmative Medical Care: Chase Brexton: Because everyone’s health matters.

American Psychological Association: Sexual orientation and gender identity (apa.org)

Baltimore Pride: Home - Baltimore Pride

Baltimore Out Loud: Baltimore Outloud

Black Church Movement for Gay and Transgender Justice: Many Voices | A Black Church Movement for Gay & Transgender Justice

Homeless Persons Representation Project (Baltimore): hprp | (hprplaw.org)

How Parents Can Support Health Outcomes for LGB Youth: Parents’ Influence on the Health of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Teens: What Parents and Families Should Know (cdc.gov)

The Human Rights Campaign: Human Rights Campaign - HRC

It Gets Better Project: It Gets Better – The It Gets Better Project exists to uplift, empower, and connect LGBTQ+ youth around the globe.

Jewish Queer Youth: Home Page - JQY (jqyouth.org)

LGBTQ Inclusion in the Church: The Reformation Project - Advancing LGBTQ Inclusion in the Church

LGBTQ Affirming Churches in MD: List Churches by U.S. State / Canadian Province | GayChurch.org

Muslims and Progressive Values: LGBTQI Resources — Muslims for Progressive Values (mpvusa.org)

The Parents Project: My Kid is Gay

PFLAG: PFLAG |

PFLAG Across Maryland: PFLAG Across Maryland (pflagmd.org)

The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project — Saving Young LGBTQ Lives

The Pride Center of Baltimore: THE PRIDE CENTER OF MARYLAND | YOUR Resource Center (pridecentermd.org)

Trans Lifeline: Home | Trans Lifeline