Barriers and enablers to mental health help seeking of sexual, gender, and erotic minorities: A systematic literature review

Tamara Reynish, Ha Hoang, Heather Bridgman, Bróna Nic Giolla Easpaig

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Sexual, gender, and erotic minorities experience oppressions that psychologically harm and impact help seeking. The aim of this review was to integrate available evidence on the uptake, barriers, and facilitators of mental health help seeking in sexual, gender, and erotic minorities. Method: Systematic searches were conducted in CINAHL, Medline, and Scopus for peer-reviewed articles and in Google for gray literature using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Studies published in English in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries between 2008 and 2018 regarding sexual, gender, and erotic minorities older than 18 years were eligible. Quality assessments were conducted and extracted data were analyzed thematically. Result: Ninety documents were included in the review. Uptake is generally greater among sexual, gender, and erotic minorities, but worse in those who experience intersecting oppressions. Barriers to care manifest systemically, in services, and in individual mental health professionals (MHP) and contribute to psychological distress and impede help seeking. Protective factors (resilience, inclusion) and trained MHP counter these barriers. Conclusion: Despite the general prevalence and risk of mental illness among sexual, gender, and erotic minorities due to external, modifiable oppressions, opportunities for inclusive psychological care exist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-150
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health
Volume27
Issue number2
Early online dateMay 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

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