If you are a Veteran who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or another related identity (LGBTQ+) who is facing a mental health challenge — no matter how big or small — you are not alone.
Studies have shown that LGBTQ+ Veterans are at an elevated risk for stress. This stress can increase the risk for certain mental and physical health conditions, such as substance use disorders, anxiety, and depression. VA is dedicated to being a leader in providing high-quality health care for LGBTQ+ Veterans — and helping all Veterans manage mental health challenges in a sensitive, respectful environment. Learn more about how issues associated with your identity can affect your health and how to talk about them with your doctor.
Access to Services and Benefits
It is important for you to understand VA policies that protect your rights as an LGBTQ+ Veteran. You cannot be denied services or benefits at VA because of your identity. In addition, VA's patient care policy prohibits discrimination based on personal characteristics including sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
For years, LGBTQ+ Service members had to hide or deny their identity. This sometimes led to stress, problems with alcohol, depression, and other challenges. Hear how these Veterans began to live openly and regain their self-esteem with the support of their communities and VA professionals.