Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 378–389 | Cite as

Bisexual People’s Experiences with Mental Health Services: A Qualitative Investigation

Original Paper


Bisexual people experience minority stress and social isolation as a result of their marginalized sexual identities, and likely due to this stigmatization, previous research has identified high rates of psychological distress, anxiety, depression, suicidality, alcohol misuse, and self-harming behaviour among bisexual populations. It is therefore important that mental health service providers are able to provide culturally competent care to bisexual people. This study used focus groups and interviews with 55 bisexual participants across the province of Ontario, Canada, to investigate their experiences with mental health care. Results suggest that bisexual people have both positive and negative experiences with mental health service providers. Specific provider practices which contribute to the perception of positive and negative experiences with mental heath services are described, and the implications for clinical practice discussed.


Bisexual Mental health Barriers to care Service satisfaction 



This research was supported by a Community Research Capacity Enhancement grant from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. L.E. Ross is supported as a New Investigator by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Ontario Women’s Health Council, Award NOW-84656. In addition, support to CAMH for salary of scientists and infrastructure has been provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The authors would like to thank Anna Travers, Ayden Scheim, Loralee Gillis, and our participants for their essential contributions to this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Equity and Health ResearchCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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