‘Is it worth potentially dealing with someone who won't get it?’: LGBTQA+ university students’ perspectives on mental health care

Garcia, C.; Grant, E.; Treharne, G.J.; Arahanga-Doyle, H.; Lucassen, Mathijs; Scarf, D.; Taumoepeau, M.; Veale, J. and Rapsey, C. (2023). ‘Is it worth potentially dealing with someone who won't get it?’: LGBTQA+ university students’ perspectives on mental health care. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03036758.2023.2235297

Abstract

LGBTQA+ university students have unique mental health needs and high rates of mental distress compared to their cisgender heterosexual peers; however, it is likely that many LGBTQA+ individuals remain untreated or receive inappropriate or insensitive care. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and preferences in mental health care of LGBTQA+ university students in Aotearoa New Zealand. Twenty-eight young adults participated across 12 focus groups or interviews in which they were asked about their experiences and preferences. We used thematic analysis to identify patterns of meaning in the data. Researchers developed three themes of I can do this on my own, but others should seek help; you have to be lucky to access mental health care; and ‘therapists just need to be a bit more like up with the programme’. The results of this study mirror those found in more general studies of LGBTQA+ mental healthcare experiences, however, also adds to considerations for university campus healthcare services. The findings of this study should be considered by all mental health providers working with LGBTQA+ young adult university students.

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