Experiences and Needs of Sexual and Gender Minority Young Adults with a History of Suicidal Ideation Regarding Formal and Informal Mental Healthcare

Jennifer de Lange*, Diana van Bergen, Laura Baams, Margaretha C. Timmerman, Henny M.W. Bos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Little is known about whether sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth and young adults with suicidal ideation receive adequate mental healthcare in the Netherlands. The aim of this study was to examine healthcare experiences and needs of SGM young adults and how formal and informal mental healthcare can be improved to support SGM youth with suicidal ideation.

In 2018 and 2019, qualitative interviews were conducted among (1) SGM young adults with a history of suicidal ideation (n = 23, age 18 to 35), (2) parents of SGM youth with suicidal ideation (n = 16), and (3) professionals and volunteers who work with SGM youth (n = 14). Thematic analysis was used for coding and analyzing the interviews.

Analyses yielded several themes for all groups of participants. Similar themes related to addressing suicidal ideation and SGM issues were found across the three participant groups. Participants perceived a lack of knowledge among professionals regarding SGM issues and perceived that suicidal ideation was sometimes inadequately addressed. Participants expressed the need for training and information on addressing SGM issues and suicidal ideation for parents and professionals.

Formal mental healthcare is not yet affirmative of SGM identities. Informal and formal healthcare should be improved to address sexual orientation, gender identity, and suicidal ideation.

Policy Implications
Findings underpin the need for improving skills and knowledge of mental healthcare professionals to better support SGM youth with suicidal ideation. Parents would benefit from accessible information on SGM-related themes and suicidal ideation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1829–1841
Number of pages13
JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
Early online date16-Oct-2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2022

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