LGBTQ+ people in Kenya urgently need mental health support


There’s an urgent need for culturally appropriate mental and physical health services for sexual and gender minorities in Kenya, says a University of Michigan researcher. “There’s still a lot of social stigma, a lot of violence around being gay or lesbian or transgender in Kenya,” said Gary Harper, professor of health behavior and health education at the U-M School of Public Health. “While sexual and gender minorities have developed resilience processes that help protect them against negative effects of structural-level oppression, elevated rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, subclinical levels of psychological stress and depressive symptoms show community and policy-level interventions are also needed.” Harper is co-author of a new study recently published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The study was conducted by researchers from U-M, the University of Nairobi and the University of California, Los Angeles; and grassroot organizers from the Western Kenya LBQT Feminist Forum and the Nyanza Rift Valley and Western Kenya LGBTI Coalition.

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