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Compared to the general population, sexual minority men report poorer mental health outcomes and higher mental healthcare utilisation. However, they also report more unmet mental health needs. To better understand this phenomenon, we conducted qualitative interviews with 24 sexual minority men to explore the structural factors shaping their encounters with mental healthcare in Toronto, Canada. Interviews were analysed using grounded theory. Many participants struggled to access mental healthcare and felt more marginalised and distressed because of two interrelated sets of barriers. The first were , hurdles to mental healthcare not exclusive to sexual minorities. These included financial and logistical obstacles, the prominence of psychiatry and the biomedical model, and unsatisfactory provider encounters. The second were , obstacles explicitly rooted in heterosexism and homophobia sometimes intersecting with other forms of marginality. These included experiencing discrimination and distrust, and limited sexual minority affirming options. Discussions of general barriers outweighed those of sexual minority barriers, demonstrating the health consequences of structural harms in the absence of overt structural stigma. Healthcare inaccessibility, income insecurity and the high cost of living are fostering poor mental health among sexual minority men. Research must consider the upstream policy changes necessary to counteract these harms.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Culture, health & sexuality
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The concept covering the physical and mental conditions of members of minority groups.
Voluntary organizations which support educational programs and research in psychiatry with the objective of the promotion of mental health. An early association in the United States was founded as the National Committee for Mental Hygiene in 1909, became the Mental Health Association in 1976 and later the National Mental Health Association in 1980. State and local mental health associations in this country are chartered by the national organization and affiliated with it.
A state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to SEXUALITY, according to the World Health Organization.
Violence based on gender that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. (From www.who.int/topics/gender_based_violence/en/)
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