Navigation Links
Veterans who identify as LGB could benefit from informed mental health services

COLUMBIA, Mo. In 2011, the United States Military repealed its "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevented gay and lesbian service members from disclosing their sexual orientation. Current estimates indicate that more than 1 million veterans identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). Now, a University of Missouri researcher says these service members and veterans often are marginalized and may benefit from mental health professionals, including social workers, who are informed about the needs of individuals who identify as LGB.

"Identifying as LGB and serving in the military can provide a distinct set of experiences and challenges for individuals," said Michael Pelts, a doctoral student at the School of Social Work in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. "Within the U.S., identifying as a service member or veteran can marginalize individuals. This is also true for people who identify as LGB. The impact may be compounding. For example, suicide has a high occurrence rate among veterans and even more so among veterans who identify as LGB."

Pelts said studies show that the majority of LGB service members and veterans who seek mental health care services do so outside of Veterans Affairs.

"Social workers in the public and private sectors make up the largest group of mental health service providers to veterans and their families," Pelts said. "It is likely that social workers will continue to see current and new generations of veterans struggling with their sexual identity and with the impact of internal and societal stigmas related to identifying as LGB. Therefore, mental health professionals need to be equipped to care for members of this population."

Social workers and other mental health providers should challenge their cultural assumptions when treating clients who are veterans or service members, Pelts said.

"It's not ethically sound practice to assume that all service members and veterans are heterosexual," Pelts said. "Assuming individuals are heterosexual can compound stress for LGB individuals and make them less likely to share information, which can make it more difficult for health professionals and mental health providers to provide adequate care."

Pelts said health providers should adopt practices to be more inclusive to veterans who identify as LGB. Part of increasing inclusivity includes simple changes such as modifying medical history forms and in-take documents. By using more inclusive terminology, individuals who identify as LGB may feel less alienated, Pelts said.

"It is essential for mental health professionals to create culturally competent practice approaches," Pelts said. "Social workers have a tremendous opportunity, if not ethical responsibility, to be leaders in the provision of mental health services for LGB service members, veterans and their families."

Pelts recently wrote, "Veterans Mental Health: Implication for Services With Gay Men and Lesbians Who Have Served," which was published in Social Work in Mental Health.


Contact: Jesslyn Chew
University of Missouri-Columbia

Related medicine news :

1. Killing in war linked with suicidal thoughts among Vietnam veterans, study finds
2. Wartime Killing May Raise Veterans Thoughts of Suicide
3. Study identifies factors related to violence in veterans
4. Employment Key to Helping Veterans Adjust to Life Back Home
5. Duplicate spending on veterans care costs billions
6. Mesothelioma Victims Center Urges US Navy Veterans or Anyone with Mesothelioma to Call Them for the Names of the Best Mesothelioma Attorneys in the US-Quality Matters
7. Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Urges US Navy Veterans Or Individuals With Mesothelioma To Call Them For The Names Of The Best Mesothelioma Attorneys & Treatment Options
8. Improve Care for Veterans With PTSD: Report
9. Telephone therapy technique brings more Iraq and Afghanistan veterans into mental health treatment
10. Substance-use disorders linked to increased risk of death for veterans with PTSD
11. National nursing conference to address veterans health needs
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best Buy Eyeglasses, ... the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a purely functional ... a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating an iconic ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing ... their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice ... , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These ... tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as reported ... head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to infest ... in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay ... Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne ... Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of ... Innovation, today announced the five finalists of ... Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, ... Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves electronic ... load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ... markets and sells medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory ... strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., ... June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical ... Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: