Mental health help wanting for bisexuals

Sept. 18, 2008 at 11:14 PM
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TORONTO, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- The existing mental health services in Ontario, Canada, do not adequately meet the needs of bisexual people, researchers said.

Researchers at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health and the Sherbourne Health Center evaluated the experiences of bisexual people in Ontario based on three main determinants of health: social factors, including biphobia and stigma; interpersonal relationships including the workplace and partners; and internal factors, including self-acceptance and identity struggles.

The results demonstrated that social biphobia and stereotypes about bisexuals have far reaching negative effects on the mental health and well-being of bisexual people, the researchers said.

Although previous research shows that bisexual people are more likely to seek help with mental health issues than heterosexuals, many who were surveyed expressed frustration when interacting with the healthcare system.

"Many participants reported that they felt that some (gay)-friendly therapists were uncomfortable dealing with certain mental health issues, while mainstream mental health clinicians did not have an understanding of the specific challenges faced by bisexual people," Dr. Lori Ross of CAMH said in a statement.

The research results are scheduled to be presented at an event Tuesday at the Sherbourne Health Center in Toronto.

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