Behavioral and Mental Health
LGBTQIA+ individuals are more likely to experience mental health problems when compared to the general population, with higher rates of depression, anxiety, suicide/self-harm and substance abuse. The specially trained psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners and counselors at University Hospitals provide comprehensive behavioral and mental health care services to address these issues and help patients achieve emotional wellness and the highest quality of life possible.
Call our dedicated gender care patient navigator at 216-286-LGBT (5428) to schedule a consultation with a UH behavioral health professional with advanced training in gender care services.
Psychological Assessments & Depression Screenings
The mental health experts at University Hospitals offer comprehensive psychiatric evaluations for patients experiencing gender dysphoria as well as services for the treatment and management of other psychiatric conditions that may be identified.
When LGBTQIA+ patients come to us for care, we believe it is very important to screen for depression. UH mental health experts are highly trained to recognize and treat depression with both medical and psychological therapies to manage this potentially debilitating condition. Our goal is to improve quality of life and help people achieve a happier life through self-awareness and acceptance.
Living as Your Affirmed Gender
Before gender affirmation surgeries are performed, an individual must live a full year as their affirmed gender, in conjunction with hormone therapy. This can be both a joyful and stressful experience. The mental health experts at UH assist individuals throughout this process, offering psychological support, family and individual counseling services and referrals to community resources that will support them on their journey.
Substance Abuse Counseling
Given that LGBTQIA+ individuals may experience higher than average levels of stress, they also may be more likely to turn to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism. As with any person, this can lead to addiction and dependence, threatening the person’s physical and emotional health. UH experts can help patients acknowledge their addictions and support and advise them in finding alternate ways to cope.
Substance abuse counseling is particularly important for transgender individuals as they prepare to transition physically to their affirmed gender. As patients prepare for a successful surgery, it is essential that their use of recreational drugs and alcohol is well understood and documented. This is necessary to prevent withdrawal when they are trying to recover from surgery, and to prevent the possibility of certain substances interfering with the effectiveness of anesthesia during surgery, or with post-operative medication and pain management.
UH mental health experts help patients to address any substance abuse issues so they can be both physically and emotionally healthy enough to undergo their surgical procedures.