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New app provides free mental health resources for LGBTQ+ Coloradans

New wellness initiative to help LBGTQ+ Coloradans with mental health support
New wellness initiative to help LBGTQ+ Coloradans with mental health support 02:29

A new app that's been years in the making is finally live for LGBTQ+ Coloradans.

Creator Steven Haden gave CBS News Colorado's Mekialaya White a demo of the complete wellness hub, called You:Flourish

"It's a social impact venture of nonprofit Envision:You. Our focus is improving the mental health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community," he said.

"Our work on You:Flourish started shortly after the lockdown during the pandemic. We heard through research that there was a lack of digital spaces where folks could make meaningful connections and just the challenges of finding a mental health provider who understands," Haden said. 


With the launch in Colorado, users will have free access to You:Flourish's features for up to a year. 

The platform comprises three components: firstly, the ability to search for and connect with healthcare and mental health professionals who specialize in serving members of the LGBTQ+ community; secondly, a comprehensive wellness hub offering resources tailored to the specific needs of the LGBTQ+ community, all centered around key social determinants of health; and finally, the opportunity to forge meaningful connections with people who share similar needs and identities.

Now, with a simple touch of a screen, finding resources for care isn't so difficult anymore for Vic Leal. As part of the LGBTQ+ community, they've navigated mental health obstacles for years. 

"I have a few diagnoses that I have encountered in my life. I don't have gender affirming doctors or others that I would need in that field for that advocacy," Leal said. 

Resources that share their identity and lived experience is needed, says Leal.

"Rates of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, suicidality, etc. exist at two to four times greater rates than cisgender straight people and there's a lot of reasons for that. Imagine growing up in a world that's hostile to your identity, that's discriminating, telling you that you shouldn't play on a specific sports team or access to the restroom that aligns with your gender identity… there's a lot of early trauma. And that leads to these greater disparities with mental health."

But Haden is working to reduce those disparities, one click at a time.


"If we can be one part that gives people the support to know people care about you and want to see you excel that brings me goosebumps it brings tears to my eyes and just so much joy to know we are making a difference," he said.

"It's life-changing, life-altering to have this type of information be so readily available," echoed Leal. "It's broadened my perspective on really what I need to be doing for my self care. This app is empowering a generation. I feel like now specifically there's a lot of space for support to be had in the community and it's a good time to take up that space."

To learn about how to use these specialized services, visit You:Flourish's official website

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