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Mental health? Gays and lesbians appear more likely to try for it

August 15, 2009 |  7:13 am

Couple When it comes to substance abuse and mental health disorders, gays, lesbians and bisexuals have been shown to have higher rates than the general population -- and the reasons for that are complicated. But, researchers say, this segment is also more likely -- twice as likely, in fact -- to seek mental health treatment than heterosexuals.

Researchers at UCLA parsed data on more than 2,000 people. They found that 48.5% of so-called sexual minorities had received therapy in the last year, but that only 22.5% of heterosexuals had.

(And this tidbit is no surprise, but let's point it out anyway: Lesbians and bisexual women were the most likely to seek treatment; straight men were the least likely.)

Among the researchers' conclusions: "The findings showed that minority sexual orientation predisposes individuals to seek out services, despite pervasive barriers that exist within the service delivery system that might even discourage their use by this population."

Here's the news release from UCLA.

Here's the full study, published Friday in the journal BMC Psychiatry.

-- Tami Dennis

Credit: Los Angeles Times

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