Our Work to Support LGBTQ+ Mental Health

Our Work to Support LGBTQ+ Mental Health

In the midst of today’s youth mental health crisis, LGBTQ youth are struggling at exponentially higher rates, due to societal stigma and family rejection. Newport Healthcare is dedicated to supporting individuals in this community through organizational partnerships, professional development, and culturally competent care.

As a result of this commitment, Newport has been named to the Inc. 2022 Best in Business list, honoring companies that have made an extraordinary impact in their fields and on society. Newport was included in the Health Services category of the list, and was specifically recognized by Inc. for our contributions to the mental health and wellness of individuals in the LGBTQ+ community.

We are extraordinarily proud of this accomplishment, for being recognized for our work with the LGBTQ+ community, and for the outstanding efforts of our teams. We strive to be an innovator in behavioral health treatment and this award is a testament to our state-of-the-art initiatives that can be a model for other health systems seeking to achieve superior outcomes and sustainable healing.

Joe Procopio, CEO, Newport Healthcare

2022 Research on the LGBTQ Youth Mental Health Crisis

LGBTQ youth face the same challenges that all teens grapple with during this time of life—and they also must cope with an additional set of challenges imposed upon them. All too often, LGBTQ teens and young adults are subjected to discrimination and lack of acceptance, from close family members as well as society at large. In fact, 75 percent of LGBTQ youth have experienced discrimination at least once during their life due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

As a result, research on LGBTQ mental health shows that this community faces a drastically increased risk of depression, anxiety, and suicide. According to the 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health conducted by The Trevor Project—the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning young people—nearly half (45 percent) of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.

The survey captured the experiences of some 34,000 LGBTQ youth, ages 13 to 24, across the United States. Here are some of additional findings:

  • 75 percent of LGBTQ teens experienced symptoms of anxiety in the past year.
  • 61 percent experienced symptoms of depression.
  • 82 percent wanted mental healthcare in the past year, but 60 percent of those youth were unable to access care.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 transgender and nonbinary youth made a suicide attempt.

As The Trevor Project states, “LGBTQ youth are not inherently prone to suicide risk because of their sexual orientation or gender identity but rather placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society.” Most profoundly, they experience rejection or lack of support from their family members much more often than their heterosexual peers. Nonbinary and transgender family rejection statistics are particularly striking: The 2022 survey found that fewer than one-third of transgender and nonbinary youth say they live in a gender-affirming home.

How Newport Is Addressing the Gap in Care for LGBTQ Teens and Young Adults

To address the lack of mental healthcare options for teens and young adults in general, we are continually expanding our nationwide residential and outpatient programs and adding new programs across the country, including virtual programming. Our initiatives to support the LGBTQ community in particular include maintaining a Corporate Partnership with The Trevor Project to support the organization’s outreach and crisis prevention work.

In addition, more than 1,900 Newport Healthcare employees have completed The Trevor Project’s in-depth Ally Training program, led by their public education team. We also partnered with The Trevor Project in 2022 to create a specialized training for Newport clinicians to best support LGBTQ clients and families and provide inclusive, educated care. Newport’s philosophy of care prioritizes cultural competence and cultural humility—recognizing the distinct experiences and needs of specific populations while taking into account each patient’s unique personal history. Our treatment is gender responsive according to each client’s gender identity, and we provide LGBTQ-specific housing in some program locations.

Furthermore, as part of our thought leadership and research initiatives, Newport clinicians are looking at how mental healthcare can be most effective for this community. At the 2022 American Psychological Association convention, Newport Chief Clinical Officer Barbara Nosal, PhD, LMFT, LADC, gave a talk titled “Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) and LGBTQIA2+ Clients.” Dr. Nosal discussed how the ABFT framework can be used to improve attachment and acceptance within an LGBTQIA2+ client’s family system.

Our Clinical Model and LGBTQ Treatment Outcomes

As part of our mission to empower young people and restore families, we rigorously collect and track data on our our treatment outcomes, through the Newport Healthcare Center for Research and Innovation, in partnership with Drexel University’s Center for Family Intervention Science. In accordance with the research on this topic, Newport’s LGBTQ clients report the highest number of risk factors and also report more severe symptoms.

According to our 2021 outcomes report, close to half of Newport’s clients identify as LGBTQ. Moreover, these clients were more likely than their straight peers to experience verbal, physical, and online bulling, as well as sexual coercion. In addition, they had higher rates of depression, anxiety, disordered eating, suicidal behavior, and traumatic distress.

Despite the high acuity and high rates of risk factors and acuity of symptoms among this group, however, our LGBTQ clients show significant improvement throughout the course of treatment in measures of depression, anxiety, suicidality, and well-being.

Bar graph of depression outcomes that shows Average Score decreasing from 14.7 on day 1 to 8.4 on day 35.
Bar graph of anxiety outcomes that shows Average Score decreasing from 12.8 on day 1 to 7.7 on day 35.
Bar graph of well-being outcomes that shows Average Score increasing from 9.4 on day 1 to 13.5 on day 35.

The Selection Process for the 2022 Best in Business Honorees

The Best in Business list, featured in the Winter 2022 issue of Inc. Magazine, recognizes the most dynamic companies of all sizes and industries that have had an outstanding influence on their communities, their industries, the environment, or society as a whole. 

To assemble the list of honorees, Inc.’s editors reviewed companies’ achievements over the past year and noted how they made a positive difference in the world, rather than relying on quantitative criteria tied to sales or funding. They then selected honorees in 55 different categories—from advertising to sustainability to retail, and more—and in age-based, revenue-based, size-based, and impact-based categories.

The applicant pool was extremely competitive—a huge success for the 241 honored in the list’s third year. Honorees for general excellence across various industries and categories are featured online at inc.com/best-in-business.  

Inc. Magazine is dedicated to showcasing America’s most dynamic businesses and the great things they do. The Best in Business awards shine a light on those that have gone above and beyond their original mission to make a social, environmental, or economic impact, benefiting those around them.

Scott Omelianuk, Editor-In-Chief, Inc.

Learn more about Newport’s integrated approach to care and how we support referring professionals.