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It’s no secret—your teenage years can be tough. Between getting good grades, fitting in at school, entering the dating scene, balancing extracurriculars, and getting their first jobs, today’s youth are under a great deal of pressure. And when you’re on the LGBTQ spectrum, the pressure somehow becomes even greater. In addition to the “typical” challenges that adolescents face, LGBTQ youth experience unique stressors that can negatively impact their mental health.

According to a national survey by The Trevor Project:

Bullying & Discrimination

The “high school bully” has become a popular trope in TV and movies, but bullying is an unfortunate reality for many LGBTQ adolescents—much more than for straight cisgender youth. CDC data shows that 43% of transgender youth and 29% of gay or lesbian youth have been bullied on school property (compared to 18% of cisgender youth and 17% of straight youth, respectively).

61% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being prevented or discouraged from using a bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, with school being the most frequent place where bathroom discrimination occurs. And 1 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported being physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Dating Abuse

From first dates to first kisses, entering the dating scene as an adolescent can be both exciting and overwhelming. For LGBTQ youth, who may be exploring their sexuality or coming to terms with their identity, dating can feel a bit more daunting. LGBTQ teens face a higher risk of dating abuse, including physical/emotional abuse and sexual coercion. Transgender youth, in particular, are the most at-risk group.

Political issues

With the prevalence of social media, political talk seems to be more prominent than ever—and teens are listening. But while most teens don’t necessarily have to worry about things like healthcare and marriage equality, these issues directly affect the lives of LGBTQ individuals. In fact, 86% of LGBTQ youth said that recent politics have negatively impacted their well-being.

Puberty & Body Image

For many teens and preteens, puberty can feel like a time of chaos. But for transgender youth, it can lead to intense anxiety, depression and risk of suicide. During this time, your emotions, appearance and internal chemistry are all changing at a rapid pace, which can be very distressing—even traumatic—for someone whose gender identity doesn’t match their assigned sex. Markers of puberty, such as body hair, menstruation and developing breasts, can cause some to feel at odds with their bodies,

When seeking mental health treatment, it’s important to have a culturally sensitive provider who understands the LGBTQ experience. At Crew Health, we’re here for you in more ways than one. Not only do we offer LGBTQ-focused healthcare, but we do so at little to no cost to you—regardless of whether or not you’re insured. To us, your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Our team of experts is ready to talk to you no matter the need.

Sources:

2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, The Trevor Project

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

It’s our favorite time of year: Pride. A time to celebrate the culture, uplift the voices and support the rights of the LGBTQ community. And although National Pride Month is technically still a few weeks away, we’re kicking off the celebrations a bit early with our partners at Q Care+.


This Saturday, May 22, we’ll be dancing, cheering and waving our flags at the annual Tampa Pride Festival & Diversity Parade. But we can’t celebrate LGBTQ history without also commemorating the individuals we’ve lost to HIV and AIDS. That’s why it’s so important for us to have a presence at Pride events—to promote HIV testing and reach individuals who may be more at risk. By partnering with organizations like Q Care+, a telemedicine platform, we can increase access to treatment and help reduce the stigma surrounding HIV.


Stigma and accessibility are two of the biggest obstacles we face when it comes to ending the HIV epidemic. Feelings of shame, guilt and fear can cause some individuals to avoid getting tested, delay seeking treatment, or disclosing their status to their partners. Moreover, some people living with HIV may not have access to the resources needed to properly treat their condition—like health insurance or LGBTQ-focused providers. By offering at-home labs and STD testing, virtual doctor visits, mail-order prescriptions and refills, and 24-hour access to a secure online portal, Q Care+ creates an accessible, stigma-free space.


“It gives patients the option to access PrEP through partnerships that ensure quality of medication and provide ease of access to providers and treatment,” said Quinton Rasberry, CEO of Q Care+.


Pride events are known for being big, loud, unashamed and unapologetic. And that’s a message we want to emphasize to anyone living with HIV. Your status is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. You’re not alone in your diagnosis. Finding out you have HIV can be difficult, but with treatment and support, people with HIV can live long and fulfilling lives. So be proud of who you are—every part of you. We’ll see you at Pride!

Find us at the Tampa Pride 2021 street festival on Saturday, May 22 between 10:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. and then look for us in the parade alongside our partners Q Care+ and Avita Pharmacy.

This year's festival will be located at E 9th Avenue and the HCC parking lot. The E 9th Avenue area is two blocks from N 13th Street to N 15th Street. The second area comprises the HCC parking lot area.

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 8, 2021) – Crew Health, Inc., the Orlando-based primary care and infectious disease clinic that specializes in reducing sexually transmitted infections and serving the LGBTQ+ community, has kicked off 2021 on a high note with fresh goals and positive accomplishments already met after the first quarter and ambitious goals for the rest of the year.


Since January, the clinic has administered 350+ HIV tests in the community, 125 of which resulted in the patient starting PrEP medication. With sights set on an even bigger second quarter, Crew Health’s outreach team has a goal of completing 450 more tests and starting 200 more patients on PrEP before July 1, 2021, ensuring that the risk of exposure to HIV in the community is lower than ever.


A significant part of what will make the realization of this goal possible, is the launch of Crew Health’s mobile testing unit, slated to open by the end of May. The mobile unit will help the team reach new communities. In addition to the mobile unit, Crew Health is planning a larger mobile unit later this year that will allow for treatment and other services, including testing and behavioral health. These mobile units are made possible through generous donations from partners like Freedom Boat Club.

Crew Health is also excited to announce that its once ARNP, Amber Siegel, has become a doctor. Siegel received her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Duke University. In addition to Siegel, Crew Health’s team includes individuals such as Dr. Anjum Mobin, an in-house psychiatrist who specializes in psychological and emotional issues, and Dr. Sandra Lechin, a licensed psychologist with more than 10 years of experience with both inpatient and outpatient services, who both work within our Behavioral Health team.

Crew Health Inc. has also welcomed on-board other new members of staff since January, including new medical assistant Gessenia, administrative staff Suleika and LuAnn as well as Dorothy who looks after our accounts team. We also have Ivan who is our newest HIV/STI Counselor. In addition to our new members, there have also been some staff movements, including Margaret, who is now our office manager and Solitaire who in addition to heading our marketing department has also moved into our development team which now also includes Holly. More information about these members of the team can be found on our website.

“This is a very exciting time at Crew Health,” said John Tatum, chief operating officer. “As COVID-19 vaccinations become more available, it is becoming easier to get back into the communities that we serve and offer testing and essential care to our patients. We have extremely ambitious goals for this year, and through community events, partnerships, and expanding our high-quality patient care, we will continue to be a much-needed resource in Central Florida and beyond."

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About Crew Health:
Crew Health, Inc. is a 501c-3 nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to providing free, top-notch medical care and case management with a focus on the LGBTQ+ community. Based in Orlando, Florida, the organization’s in-house team is working toward its vision of ending HIV, disparity, and discrimination in the community. For information on Crew Health’s services, including free testing, visit CrewHealth.org or contact Hello@CrewHealth.org.

Welcome to the blog of Crew Health! We’re so glad you found us. 

We wanted to create a safe space to help, educate and update our community on what we are up to regardless of where you are. Staying connected and supporting you in every way is important to us. We intend to cover a variety of topics to be a viable resource for you at every step. 

What are we up to right now? 

We have just undergone a complete rebrand! We are so excited to share what we have created with you all. We put a lot of thought and time into developing exactly what you needed from us, as well as extras that benefit your total wellness experience. 

This new take on Crew Health is even more patient-focused than before. Crew Health is now a place of community and offers more resources like our blog to help you navigate care and life. Take a look around and keep an eye out for regular updates! 

Got an idea for a topic? Let us know!  

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