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Mind in Hackney launches vital new mental health service for LGBTQ+ community: Rainbow Mind

PUBLISHED: 09:42 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:07 05 July 2019

Phil Glanville and project directors speak at Rainbow Mind launch in Homerton

Phil Glanville and project directors speak at Rainbow Mind launch in Homerton

Archant

A specialist mental health service has launched for the thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people in Hackney - many of whom may have avoided seeking help through conventional routes.

Rainbow Mind's Wish WallRainbow Mind's Wish Wall

Rainbow Mind is the work of charity Mind in Hackney and gives LGBTQ+ people a place to go when dealing with mental health issues and addiction.

About 9 per cent of people in Hackney identify as LGBTQ+, according to a 2018 GP patient survey but a report by charity Stonewall from the same year shows they can find it difficult to access healthcare services.

It reveals around half of LGBTQ+ people have experienced depression and one in seven avoid seeking healthcare for fear of discrimination from staff.

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Many feel unable to disclose their identities as health care providers often don't know enough or even refuse to talk about LGBTQ+ related issues. To address this Rainbow Mind provides a service where patients can be themselves when seeking treatment.

Miia Chambers, director of Rainbow Mind, told the Gazette: "We grow up and live in environments where we encounter prejudice and non-acceptance of who we are due to our gender identity or sexuality. This can result in internalised homo-, bi- and trans-negativity and a legacy of shame that often manifests in mental health challenges.

"Rainbow Mind project Radical Self-Care (RadSec) works to explore the reality of our experience and identities in a sensitive and non-judgemental way. The RadSec approach builds greater understanding of our experience, and supports us towards self-acceptance and improved care and compassion for ourselves."

The launch on June 19 began with a few moments of mindfulness to give a taste of what RadSec is. There was food, drinks and music, a "wishes wall" and arts, crafts and poetry available for anyone feeling creative.

Rainbow Mind connects Hackney and Salford in Greater Manchester: both have Mind branches working together to improve healthcare services for the LGBTQ+ community.

Free RadSec training courses are being offered by Rainbow Mind. To participate email training@rainbowmind.org for details.

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