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Women Health. 2008;47(3):95-112. doi: 10.1080/03630240802134225.

Correlates of mental health service use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual mothers and prospective mothers.

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Department of Family and Community Medicine, St. Michael's Hospital and University of Toronto, Canada.


Lesbian, gay, and bisexual women undertake parenting in a social context that may be associated with unique risk factors for perinatal depression. This cross-sectional study aimed to describe the mental health services used by women in the perinatal period and to identify potential correlates of mental health service use. Sixty-four women who were currently trying to conceive, pregnant, or the parent of a child less than one year of age were included. One-third of women reported some mental health service use within the past year; 30.6% of women reported a perceived unmet need for mental health services in the past year, with 40% of these women citing financial barriers as the reason for their unmet need. Women who were trying to get pregnant or who were less "out" were most likely to have had recent mental health service use. Women who had conceived by having sex with a man or who reported more than three episodes of discrimination were most likely to report unmet needs for mental health services. Providers may benefit from additional knowledge about the LBG social context that is relevant to perinatal health, and from identifying a strong referral network of skilled and affordable counsellors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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