Yokohama Local LGBT Center Visitors' Self-Identification and Mental Health

[Speaker] Miyajima, Kensuke:1
[Co-author] Hoshino, Shiniji:1, Itoda, Ichiro:2, Hidaka, Yasuharu:3
1:SHIP, Yokohama (Japan), 2:Shirakaba Clinic (Japan), 3:Takarazuka University School of Nursing (Japan)

The LGBT Community Center in Yokohama, part of the community-based NPO SHIP, offers a variety of services, including a walk-in center, discussion groups, counseling services, and HIV testing and referral. To address our service recipients' mental health needs, with a Health and Labour Sciences Research Grant, we investigated walk-in center users' sexual self-identification and mental health status by administering questionnaires to 1,049 visitors using the Kessler-6 scale (K-6; WHO, 2007). Results include first, a significant differential distribution between sexual self-identification and biological sex. Whereas men tended to identify themselves as gay males, women were less committed to a particular sexual identity. Second, respondents who were frequent visitors to the walk-in center had significantly lower K-6 scores, common in those with mental distress. We discuss the link between frequent center visits and mental health needs, as well the diversity of self-identification among local female sexual minorities.
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