Affirming psychological care helps reduce rates of depression, anxiety, self-harming behaviors, and suicidal ideation. When looking for a mental health practitioner, it helps to understand their different areas of expertise and training. Check out the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website for more information about the different types of specialists in mental health care. It’s also important to find a mental health practitioner that follows professional standards that guide affirming care. The American Psychological Association (APA) has affirming standards of care for LGBTQ+ people. And the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) provides standards of care for transgender and gender-nonconforming people. When interviewing mental health providers, ask them if they follow APA or WPATH standards of care. If you have questions about privacy and HIPPA laws as they apply to a minor child, check out the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Find a Licensed Mental Health Provider:

  • Ask your primary care physician for recommendations.
  • If you have health insurance, ask them for a list of covered providers in your area.
  • If you don’t have health insurance or your policy does not offer enough coverage, google your city or county department of health and call their offices to ask about a referral.
  • If you have private or government health insurance, your plan may be required under federal law to offer mental health coverage equal to your physical health coverage. The American Psychological Association has a helpful guide with information about federal laws that regulate equal coverage for mental health.
  • You may be able to connect with a mental health provider via telehealth- by phone or video conferencing. This service typically costs the same amount as an in-person visit, but is convenient if there aren’t any mental health providers nearby.
  • There are also smartphone apps that may help if you are feeling stress, anxiety, or depression. The One Mind PsyberGuide is a non-profit project that evaluates digital mental health apps. They evaluate the apps based on the research supporting the technology, user experience, and privacy policies. In some cases, you can find reviews written by professionals who downloaded the app.

Rainbow Advice

I'm the parent of LGBTQ+ children and I want to empower other parents to advocate for their children. If you can't find an answer on this site, please email me at admin@rainbowadvice.com. I will try to locate helpful resources for you.