Access to affirming healthcare has been shown to offer a variety of benefits to LGBTQ+ youth:
- Greater likelihood to self-disclose their identity as LGBTQIA+ to their provider
- More likely to access healthcare
- Decreased emotional and behavioral problems to levels that are similar to or lower than non-LGBTQIA+ peers
- Increased likelihood of returning for future healthcare visits
- Greater levels of hope and improved coping skills
- Lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress
- Decreased lifetime suicidal ideation
- Depression and anxiety among transgender youth decreases when their gender identities are affirmed
- Using someone’s chosen name decreases risks for depression and suicidality
- 98% of LGBTQIA+ youth believe a safe space would help them
On the contrary, a lack of access to affirming healthcare worsens mental health, including higher levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidality, and discourages LGBTQIA+ youth from receiving healthcare.
Family support, access to community resources, and positive self-identity are also recognized as facilitators of LGBTQIA+ health and well-being. Healthcare providers should consider collaborative efforts to boost the health and well-being of LGBTQIA+ youth.