Photo courtesy of LGBTQA Health Panel / Facebook

LGBTQA Health Panel Seeks to Emphasize Importance of Mental Health

The GLBTQ Leadership Council (GLC) will be hosting a LGBTQA Health Panel with experts from around the Boston area to focus on mental and emotional health within the LGBTQA community on Feb. 25 in Devlin 010.

The overarching goal of the panel is to work towards overcoming the stigma of mental illness. Specifically, the panel will focus on the challenges of public and individual mental health care for the LGBTQA community and whether their health care needs differ significantly from those of the non-LGBTQA community. The panel hopes to demonstrate the range of support and resources that can be found in Boston by highlighting four organizations that cater particularly to different identities who are seeking different health care ends.

The panelists will include: Sawyer Bethel from Boston GLASS (Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services), a community center that supports GLBTQ teens and young adults, Julia Canfield from the Bisexual Resource Center, a nonprofit educational organization that serves the bisexual community, Hannah Hussey from New England Aces, a group that provides support and builds community for asexual spectrum individuals and allies, and Cei Lambert from Fenway Health, a health care, research, and advocacy organization for the LGBT community, founded by Northeastern University students.

“I hope this event will contribute to the conversations on mental health that are already happening on campus and [will allow] people to begin to understand how incredibly nuanced the issue of mental health care is,” said Sophie Luks, GLC's Director of Programming, “There has been a lot of improvement in recent years, with UGBC and other student groups holding incredibly successful campaigns designed to reduce this stigma, but I think there's still a level of discomfort when discussing mental health issues that ultimately hinders the mental health care reform that needs to happen.”

“In terms of the mental and emotional health of LGBTQA students specifically, I think a detail that often goes unaddressed is the intersection between identity and mental health,” continued Luks. “LGBTQA individuals are not inherently predisposed to mental illness, but the experience of living as an "outsider" to a heteronormative culture rarely leaves people unscathed. I believe a greater emphasis on catering mental health care to the individual would benefit all students on campus, not just LGBTQA-identifying individuals.”

For more information about the event, please click here.

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