School of Health Sciences
 

Document Type

Student Paper

Program Name

Public Health

Publication Date

Fall 2014

Abstract

Health inequalities resulting from social pressure or stigma are defined as a health inequity (King, 2014). A number of studies show that social pressure has influenced health equalities of the United States LGBT population, leading to a health inequity (Mustanski, Birkett, Greene, Hatzenbuehler, & Newcomb, 2014). Failure to address such disparities place LGBT populations at increased risk of health issues, including depression, a leading cause of suicide (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2011a; Mao, et al., 2009). In fact the LGBT population suffers from a 10 to 40 percent rate of attempted suicide, compared to the heterosexual population of 0.4 to 5.1 percent (O'Donnell, Meyer, & Schwartz, 2011). This paper analyzes and addresses the current situation of mental health among United States LGBTs through review of current literature and policy, specifically the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) and Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and present a potential health promotion program. Current application of ACA and DOMA was discovered to have a negative impact on the mental health of LGBT populations. However, through the use of policy changes and application of the presented health promotion program, it is possible to mitigate this health inequality.

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