Envision:You was born out of the need for access to affirming, mental health services that are suited to the unique experiences of LGBTQ+ community members. In 2021, Envision:You surveyed nearly 600 LGBTQ+ Coloradans about their behavioral health concerns and experiences. Here are some of the results:
- --1 in 2 respondents had seriously considered suicide at some point in their life
- --LGBTQ+ people are more than twice as likely to have a mental health disorder as their straight counterparts.
- --People in the LGBTQ+ community experience mental health issues at higher rates: 61% have depression, 45% have PTSD, and 36% have an anxiety disorder.
"We also know that suicide is the second leading killer among youth in our country. Depression, anxiety, substance abuse disorders are much higher in the community for a verity of reasons including discrimination, harassment, risk of losing your job because of your gender identity or your sexual orientation," said Steven Haden, CEO and Co-founder of Envision:You.
Having access to supportive, understanding care is crucial for this community. Envision:You tries to fill the gaps in that care through programming, advocacy, training, and education.
"We do that through a series of programs. One is called 'Q is for Questioning.' It's about supporting parents and caregivers when a young person comes out. We have a comprehensive training program for mental health professionals. We also have a public awareness campaign called 'How to have the talk about mental health'. It encourages people to have conversations, meaningful ones, with the people they care about, and it also leads to destigmatizing these conversations," Haden told CBS4's Dominic Garcia.
There is a deep connection between art and mental wellness. For the Envision:You Art Show & Auction, LGBTQ+ artists donate works that represent what mental health means to them. The works are then auctioned off to raise money for the Envision:You programming and mission. But more than just a fundraiser, the Art Show & Auction is designed to spur conversation around behavioral health, and struggles within the community.
"Art, as we know, can be an incredible part of a person's recovery. Artistic expression leads to reduction in feelings of anxiety, provide a way to cope with some of the mental health concerns, and so we're bringing together members of the LGBTQ community and allies who've created amazing art," Haden said.
The Envision:You Art Show & Auction is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at Moss Denver, at 200 Santa Fe Drive.
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