Vol 11 No 1 (2019)
Articles

Safe Spaces: A Social Model Response to LGBTQ+ Mental Health

Shelby Jolayne Hopland Guidi
Athabasca University
Dragonfly
Published June 13, 2019

Abstract

Utilizing a social model of disability, in as far as understanding mental health, is critical when considering the mental health concerns within the LGBTQ+ community. The social model of disability states that it is the responsibility of society to remove barriers that arise from impairments. As the mental health concerns within the LGBTQ+ community are found to be the result of socially embedded heteronormativity and the violence, harassment, and microaggressions that follow, it is important to consider these influences. As these are embedded and long standing systemic beliefs, creating safe spaces such as Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA’s) into public spaces, in the meantime, can begin to address and prioritize the mental well-being of the LGBTQ+ community.