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As we honor LGBTQ+ Pride Month, it is important to acknowledge the health inequities experienced by the LGBTQ+ community, highlighting the importance of LGBTQ+ behavioral health which embraces both mental health and well-being. This blog explores how you can advocate for your well-being when seeking behavioral health services as an LGBTQ+ individual.   

mental health

The Importance of Behavioral Health and Regular Check-ins 

Regular check-ins with a behavioral health provider are crucial for everyone but hold a particular significance for LGBTQ+ individuals who may face unique challenges related to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. These check-ins can play a vital role in maintaining various aspects of well-being, including mental health, emotional well-being, and social support. It is also important to ensure that these behavioral health settings provide a safe environment for you to discuss your concerns whether it be topics such as coming out, navigating relationships, coping with discrimination or stigma, managing mental health conditions, and accessing resources.  

Understandably, seeking these safe-spaces within behavioral health settings as an LGBTQ+ individual can cause a lot of nervousness. Therefore, we are providing a list of questions you may wish to ask while you search to find a provider who is knowledgeable, affirming, and supportive of your identity and experiences.  

LGBTQ+ Support

Questions to Ask Behavioral Health Providers

The 2 Questions Method  

One thing to take note of is whether the in-take forms include the use of a 2-question method. This approach acknowledges the difference between gender identity and assigned sex by asking the individual how they currently express their gender identity and then what gender they were assigned at birth. 

Key Questions to Ask Your Behavioral Health Providers  

1. Do you use the (SOGIE) Screening or a similar screen that would consider my personal needs?  

2. Do you have experience working with LGBTQ individuals? Can you provide examples of how you've supported LGBTQ patients in the past?  

3. How do you approach LGBTQ-specific mental health concerns, such as coming out, gender dysphoria, or experiences of discrimination?  

4. How do you address issues of confidentiality and privacy, particularly for LGBTQ patients who may not be out to everyone in their lives?  

5. Are you familiar with the unique mental health needs of different LGBTQ subgroups, such as transgender individuals, bisexual individuals, or queer people of color?  

6. Can you explain your understanding of LGBTQ identities and how they may intersect with mental health issues?  

7. How do you ensure a safe and affirming environment for LGBTQ patients in your practice?  

8. Do you use gender-affirming language and practices, such as asking for preferred pronouns and respecting chosen names?  

9. Are you knowledgeable about LGBTQ-specific resources and support networks in the community?  

10. Have you developed skills for interacting effectively with interdisciplinary teams where some colleagues may be less familiar with LGBTQ communities and their behavioral healthcare needs?   

11. As a behavioral health provider do you work closely with a patient's primary care health provider when needed?  

12. How do you stay informed about current research and best practices in LGBTQ-affirmative mental health care?  

13. How do you ensure a safe and affirming environment for LGBTQ patients in your practice?   

14. Do you involve LGBTQ individuals in the development and evaluation of your treatment plans?  

Safe Spaces

Next Steps Now I know some questions...what's next?

After reflecting over these questions, make sure to remember that advocating for your well-being is an essential part of your healthcare journey. By exploring these questions to seek an informed and knowledgeable behavioral health provider, you are taking wonderful steps to accessing inclusive and supportive care for both your mind and your body. Additionally, through this act of self-advocacy, you also contribute to creating a healthcare environment that respects the diverse needs of the LGBTQ+ community. 

In conclusion, highlighting the need for affirmative behavioral health care and discussing strategies to navigate searching for a provider during Pride Month is important for the health of this community. By asking these informed questions, individuals can feel more confident in seeking out inclusive care for better outcomes in therapy. Ultimately, by advocating for inclusive care, we challenge stigma and dismantle barriers that hinder LGBTQ+ individuals from accessing the support they deserve. Together, let's continue the journey towards a future where LGBTQ+ individuals feel validated, supported, and empowered in their pursuit of mental health and well-being.  


The Behavioral Health Wellness Environments for Living and Learning (BH WELL) research team exists to promote behavioral health and wellness among individuals facing behavioral health challenges. To learn more about BH WELL, visit our website. Interested in more evidence-based, free mental and behavioral health resources? Follow us @ukbhwell on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 


Heredia Jr., D., Pankey, T. L., & Gonzalez, C. A. (2021, June). LGBTQ-affirmative behavioral health services in primary care - primary care: Clinics in office practice. ScienceDirect.