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Contextual Frameworks for Addressing Risk and Fostering Resilience Among Sexual and Gender Minority Veterans

  • Rebecca GitlinEmail author
  • Michael R. Kauth
Chapter

Abstract

Several hundred thousand sexual and gender minority (SGM) veterans are estimated to seek out healthcare services through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) each year, though the exact number is unknown. SGM veterans present with many healthcare concerns that are similar to the veteran population at large. They also experience unique risk and resilience factors affecting healthcare and treatment outcomes. Mental health professionals play a crucial role in addressing risk and resilience factors of SGM veterans, whether as solo practitioners, as members of specialty mental health programs, or within integrated care teams in VHA or civilian healthcare systems. Utilizing a minority stress theoretical lens, (Meyer I, Psychological Bulletin. 129:674–697, 2003) this chapter offers mental health professionals a framework through which to identify and address contributors to distress and foster resilience in SGM veterans. This chapter will further outline strategies for developing a welcoming clinical environment for SGM veterans and providing patient-centered, culturally informed, and affirming mental health treatment. Finally, this chapter will review considerations for transgender veterans seeking transition-related care.

Keywords

Veterans Sexual minorities Transgender LGBTQ Sexual identity Gender identity Mental health Clinical care Health disparities Strength-based treatment Affirming treatment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Los Angeles County Department of Mental HealthLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.VHA LGBT Health ProgramWashington, DCUSA
  3. 3.VA South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical CenterHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryBaylor College of Medicine, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical CenterHoustonUSA

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