The LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) belong to all community races, religions, ages, socioeconomic groups, and ethnicities. In total, almost 4% of Americans belong to this community. The LGBTQIA youth are more vulnerable to substance use, obesity, isolation, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, depression compared to other youth population. They are vulnerable because of the stigma associated with their sexual orientation, which leads to poor health outcomes. Also, health care providers lack awareness thus become insensitive to the community’s unique needs. This study analyzes health risks among the LGBTQIA population, proposes health promotion strategies meant to improve health outcomes, the importance of health concern in the population, and collaboration health goals with participants.
Health Risks among the LGBTQIA
The LGBTQIA struggle with myriad health issues like increased prevalence of disease caused by healthcare disparities and inappropriate healthcare training. Generally, the LGBTQIA have poor health outcomes than their heterosexual counterparts. According to Hafeez, Zeshan, Tahir, Jahan & Naveed (2017), they experience heterosexism and homophobia resentment from home, school, and the community, thus making their transition to adolescence the hardest milestone to achieve. Consequently, they experience difficulty accepting their sexualities, thus resorting to unhealthy habits like childhood sexual and physical abuse, homelessness resulting from family rejection, and substance abuse. The LGBTQIA are likely to experience depression, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse like alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine (Hafeez et al., 2017). Similarly, the health disparities affecting the LGBTQIA community include discrimination during health care delivery in hospitals and clinics whereby LGBTQIA individuals experience difficulty sharing their sexual orientations to the clinicians. This communication lapse leads to poor therapeutic teamwork, inappropriate health education to the LGBTQIA community, inadequate screening for contagious disease, and poor interventions to avert STDs among the LGBTQIA community.
Creating a welcoming and safe environment for the LGBTQIA community makes them feel accepted in the community just like the heterosexual. Ideally, everyone can thrive in an environment where they are fully supported, and therefore schools, parents, and communities have a role in ensuring the LGBTQIA feel emotionally and physically safe. According to Stopbullying (2019), creating a safe environment encompasses building a strong connection with the LGBTQIA as a sign of leaving communication lines open and a demonstration of acceptance. For instance, a simple change in signage and office practices can make the LGBTQIA community feel more comfortable. Since the LGBTQIA community always feel rejected, it is important to win their trust by assuring them that the community, friends, schools, and families support them.
Furthermore, the privacy of the youth should be upheld and protected. According to Stopbullying (2019), sexual identity issues of the youth should not be discussed by anybody else, including parents, without prior permission from the youth or unless there is an imminent threat to the well-being of the youth. For instance, LGBTQIA patients can be invited to key in their information electronically during registration so that they become free to discuss their health behaviours and risk. Allowing LGBTQIA patients to enter their information in such a manner relieves health care providers the hassle of collecting information on gender identity and sexual orientation during busy clinical encounters. Therefore, this information helps clinicians and other health care providers to meet the needs of LGBTQIA patients best. In essence, the LGBTQIA youth should be accepted how they are despite how they reveal their identities or conceal their sexual identities.
Agreed Upon Health Goals
Community stakeholders need to develop a cohesive plan that addresses the challenges experienced by the LGBTQIA community. For instance, medical personnel, parents, teachers, and the community have a distinct role in reducing health disparities faced by the LGBTQIA community. Similarly, policymakers should engage key stakeholders in developing social media campaigns meant for addressing social inequalities and ineffective healthcare using appropriate cultural messages. The youth and parents should be at the centre of these interventions. Also, healthcare workers should be sensitive in addressing the needs of the LGBTQIA community. They should receive proper training to nurture, communicate openly, and be empathic to their patients by providing care in a non-judgmental and respective manner.
This study has successfully analyzed the health risks among the LGBTQIA population, proposed health promotion strategies meant to improve health outcomes, the importance of health concern in the population, and collaboration health goals with participants. Among the health risks, the LGBTQIA struggle with myriad health issues like increased prevalence of disease caused by healthcare disparities and inappropriate healthcare training. The recommended health promotion strategy involves creating a welcoming and safe environment for the LGBTQIA community, making them feel accepted in the community just like the heterosexual. The importance of this health concern is that the privacy of the patients is always upheld and protected. For collaboration, community stakeholders need to develop a cohesive plan that addresses the challenges experienced by the LGBTQIA community.