Clinicians’ Perceived Access Barriers to Mental Healthcare for LGBTQIA+ Youth and Young Adults of Color
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LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults of color are at greater risk for mental health issues, and due to discrimination face greater access barriers to mental healthcare. In this research, I conducted semi-structured interviews with sixteen clinicians from around the United States and Canada (who largely identify as LGBTQIA+ and people of color) to learn more about their perception of access barriers for this demographic and their suggestions for change. My findings show that the main barriers include the lack of LGBTQIA+ clinicians of color, lack of culturally competent clinicians, clinicians’ preconceived beliefs, exclusive structures, money, and transportation. Major suggestions for change include increasing the number of LGBTQIA+ clinicians of color, requiring cultural competency trainings, changing education programs, and organizational change. This study is necessary to better understand the barriers in place that prevent LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults of color from receiving the care they need and deserve.