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LGBTQ Health Awareness Week Focuses On Communication

DENVER (CBS4)- This week is LGBTQ Health Awareness Week, with a big focus on making sure everyone has access to the healthcare they need. One Colorado is the state's leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Coloradans.

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The group says while the state has made great strides in LGBTQ healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, there are still many challenges people face every day.

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One Colorado said that one of the main challenges is for LGBTQ Coloradans to find quality and inclusive care. Daniel Ramos the Executive Director said many times, people don't feel comfortable telling their physician about their sexual orientation which can lead to further problems.

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Ramos said an open conversation about your partner, can lead to a more open environment.

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"So you can get the care you need, so you can have that open and honest conversation to make sure you understand what your risk factor is based on your behavior," he explained. "Or that you are getting the care that you need. You can only get that care with an open and honest conversation."

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Mental health is another big topic of discussion this week. One Colorado hosted a survey in 2011 that found the LGBTQ community is diagnosed with anxiety at a rate that is three times higher than the general population.

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"We know there are disparities among mental health whether it be diagnosed with anxiety or depression at much higher rates or even the decrease in self-confidence and self-esteem," Ramos said. "Those are some factors that can impact whether there is good mental health or suicidal thoughts."

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One Colorado hopes by spreading awareness about these disparities, they can look into future policies and practices that allow everyone the opportunity to be the healthiest version of themselves.

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