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Monday, January 18, 2016

Healing As a Community, Imagine living with Multiple Stigma's




Happy New Year.

I'd like to start by thanking everyone who reads and writes in to shareyourstory@bipolarbear.us  Know the common thread each of you write, is it's nice to know you aren't alone, that many of us who are HIV+ are also diagnosed with major depression, others with bipolar like myself and many in recovery like myself.

Your stories, the latest one comes from a gay man living with HIV for 34 years now, his story on his own recovery of fifteen years is inspiring to me, so know as much as I'm told I inspire you, please know your stories inspire me, thank you.

I'm changing the format to a once a month post, and a what's in the news on mental health, HIV, aging with both.  I'm also welcoming others to submit posts, by hearing from as many of you, that many more will learn that they also are not alone.  I'm also hoping our LGBT community will come together and heal around mental illness in our community, it is very real.

Our AIDS service organizations have taken care of all whom are newly diagnosed with HIV. Services have always included mental health and addiction treatment, but since the Affordable Care Act, mental health treatment has quadrupled.  Funds raised from charities, grants, Federal and States budgets  make up over 50% of these services.


How often do we read and hear about stigma around HIV, but Stigma goes much deeper in the gay community, there's double stigma towards our LGBT mental health consumers,  And it gets worse, for those who are diagnosed with mental health and HIV. Add to that, those of us who are aging, those who live in poverty, those who struggle with addictions and with all of the above going on for that person, try and imagine how lonely they must be, and how all of the above has negative impacts on the individual, biggest keeping them away from treatments plural.

Medication are working keeping all alive, but you need to be diagnosed, get on the live sustaining medications and also on mental health medications.   Dual cocktails.

Speaking up on these issues at community town hall meetings is how we heal as a community, the more we talk about mental health and HIV and addiction, the better we are as people.




RESOURCES:


H.E.A.L.   Health, Education, Advocacy and Leadership


The Aging and Health Report;
Disparities and Resilience among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender older adults


Psycho-social, Mental Health and Behavorial Issues with HIV


Discrimination 


No Golden Years at the End of the Rainbow