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New platform launches to help connect Colorado LGBTQ+ patients with affirming providers

You:Flourish offers a free platform for community connections and vetted, affirming health care providers for those in the LGBTQ+ community.
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Posted at 9:10 AM, May 20, 2024

DENVER - Finding open and LGBTQ-affirming mental health care providers can be a challenge.

"There's a lot of trial and error that people have to personally take on," said Vic Leal.

It's an issue that is very common in the LGBTQ+ community.

"Literally thousands of people in our community have experienced really tragic outcomes when accessing the healthcare or mental healthcare space," said Steven Haden with the non-profit Envision:You.

It focuses on the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals. Recently the organization started focusing on bridging the health care equity gap.

"Your insurance card may have your dead name on it, your ID as well. Is the clinic set up to recognize you for who you are? Use your pronouns to create that safe and authentic connection? And does the provider have the training necessary to connect in a meaningful way," said Haden.

Envision:You, recently launched You:Flourish, an app that combines access to vetted affirming healthcare providers and other resources specifically to benefit the LGBTQ+ community.

"As you enter [the website], you'll see a variety of mental health and healthcare professionals," explained Haden, "As you click on a provider's profile, you'll be able to get into some of the additional specificity around their practice."

Having an affirming provider can make a huge difference for patients.

"Finding a provider that identifies with my specific identity and also uses they/them pronouns and goes through the majority of what I go through on a day-to-day basis, it wasn't a perfect match until then," said Leal of her search for a provider.

You:Flourish is primarily Colorado-focused, but the company has goals of expanding nationwide later this Spring.

"Help is necessary for every single person, but specifically within the LGBTQ+ community. There's a lot of different nuances that come with sharing that identity," said Leal, "If you haven't found a mental health care provider or resource that you've aligned with, they are out there."