Why does mental health matter?
I just learned that the Board of Mental Health Practice will be holding a hearing on May 6 to gain input on a proposed provider non-discrimination policy. So, I have to ask: who do you know that has needed mental health care?
There are many ways to help LGBT people get the mental health care they need. One is through policies like the one the Board of Mental Health Practice supported in July 2009. Here’s what you need to know about where things will stand on May 6:
- The policy includes both sexual orientation and gender identity as well as a requirement to refer when a provider is unable, for any reason, to care for a patient.
- The language surrounding the referral is needlessly complex in order to appease the Nebraska Catholic Conference, not to protect patients and not to match what the professional associations use.
- The only thing that stopped a bad policy from moving forward last year was your speaking out. Once again, it will be you and other members and friends of Nebraska’s LGBT community that can make a difference.
Providers of mental health care and public officials also need to know why mental health care is so important. Move this conversation forward by saying in the comments why mental health matters to you. We can help LGBT people receive care by telling providers what its like to be an LGBT person in Nebraska.
Another is to hep LGBT people know which mental health providers support them. You can build a provider list today by making a recommendation through OUTLinc, Lincoln’s LGBT Community Center. Know of another directory? Please post about it in the comments!