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
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 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 email@example.com for details.