In conjunction with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, One Colorado recently completed a study of the attitudes and experiences surrounding access to, and quality of, health care for LGBT people throughout the state. Although the results were predictable, this is the first official study to have been conducted on this topic, and the data is important.
From a mental health perspective, some of the most striking results include:
- 60% of LGB, and 80% of transgender people feel that there are not enough adequately trained/competent mental health professionals.
- 59% of LGBT, and 78% of transgender people feel there aren’t enough psychological support groups.
- BRFSS* respondents reported an average of nine days in the past month when they felt their mental health was not good (stress, depression, and emotional problems) while 4 in 10 participants in the One Colorado Education Fund LGBT Health Study reported feeling down, depressed, hopeless, or having little interest or pleasure in doing things for several days or more in the past two weeks.
*BRFSS is an ongoing telephone health survey system designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and implemented by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The Denver Post published an article about the study, written by a gay doctor who highlights his experience as a father, and the inherent concerns that come with not knowing whether or not your relationship will be recognized by the medical system.
In Colorado, as in many other states across the U.S., we have a long way to come in regards to equality.