Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Rogers, Anissa


The purpose of this study is to address the challenges and barriers that LGBTQ+ individuals face when accessing mental health care services. This research is significant because though LGBTQ+ community faces many challenges such as discrimination and trauma, which greatly affect their mental health, yet LGBTQ+ specific mental health care is not widely available. This unavailability has resulted in only 12.6% of mental health care institutions having LGBTQ+ specific mental health care services. In addition, the small percentage of LGBTQ+ programs that are available in mental health institutions are not available in every city or region, which has resulted in only 13% of the LGBTQ+ population utilizing LGBTQ+ specific mental health clinics.

This study is an exploratory study that used a mixed methods research design to explore the perceptions of LGBTQ+ individuals with regard to mental health care. For the qualitative portion of the study, in-depth interviews with individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ were conducted to explore specific questions regarding their experiences with receiving and utilizing mental health care. Thematic analysis was conducted on interview responses to help the researcher identify the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. For the quantitative portion of the study, additional items on the questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis to help the researcher capture trends regarding the mental health needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

This study has implications for social work practice because it seeks to outline the specific needs and challenges that the LGBTQ community face and how those challenges affect the mental health of those in the community. This study explores the challenges and disadvantages that those in the LGBTQ+ community face through a minority stress theory lens. By doing so, this study seeks to outline the barriers and challenges that LGBTQ+ individuals face in acquiring mental health care services.

Included in

Social Work Commons