Launch of new LGBTQ+ mental health and counselling service; Talk to the Rainbow aims to help tackle growing mental health crisis in the community

To hail the close of LGBT+ History Month, Talk to the Rainbow, the team of LGBTQ+ allied counsellors and therapists based in Bristol covering everything related to sexuality, sexual orientation, gender and sex, has today announced the launch of its new therapy service. The brand-new service, specialising in helping the LGBTQ+ community and its allies faced with a growing mental health crisis, opened  in Bristol on 24th February 2020.

Talk to the Rainbow’s mission is to create a centre for therapeutic excellence and therapeutic safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community in Bristol and the South West. To do this, they have brought together of a team of highly trained and experienced therapists, counsellors, psychologists and mindfulness practitioners who all have lived experience or strong links to the LGBTQ+ community. The team who practice with the service has carefully been chosen to reflect a diverse range of training and approaches in order to offer a holistic, diverse and wide-ranging approach to helping its diverse client base. Talk to the Rainbow is the brainchild of co-founders Hugo Minchin and Tara Fraser.

Commenting on the launch, Hugo Minchin, director and co-founder at Talk to the Rainbow said:

“We are thrilled to be opening our flagship service in Bristol, and with this week being the final week of LGBT+ history month, it seems like a fitting tribute to what our community has experienced over the years and how hopeful we are about the future. Certainly, the LGBTQ+ community in the South West is facing a massive mental health crisis. It’s a harsh reality, but quite frankly, people are dying. We aim to step in at a time to offer support and care when no one else really is. We are looking forward to providing a truly unique counselling service to Bristol and the local regions, and to start to make a difference to such a wonderful, yet very vulnerable community.”

Talk to the Rainbow was founded out of the desperate need to provide help to the vulnerable LGBTQ+ community in the South West initially, but with big plans for expansion across the UK. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are more susceptible to mental health problems, such as depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and alcohol and substance misuse. This is due to a range of factors including, discrimination, inequality and unacceptance.

For instance;

  • 53% of LGBTQ+ people in 2018 experienced depression
  • One in seven LGBTQ+ avoid seeking healthcare for fear of discrimination from staff
  • One in eight LGBTQ+ young people (18-24) said they have attempted to take their own life
  • Transgender youth are far more likely than their non-transgender peers to experience depression — nearly four times the risk, according to one study (Reisner 2015). Similarly, LGBQ teens experience significantly more depression symptoms than their heterosexual peers (Marshal 2011).

Tara Fraser director and co-founder at Talk to the Rainbow explained further:

“People in our community are often very vulnerable and need help with their mental health. We believe it is our job to be there to support them. The statistics for LGBTQ+’s mental health and wellbeing are truly shocking. What we hope to do to is not only practically help people, but also give those people a voice. One of the many reasons we started Talk to the Rainbow was because we knew just how hard it is to find a therapist that really ‘gets you’ if you are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

“At Talk to the Rainbow we all have that lived experience of being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. With us clients won’t need to educate their therapist about their situation, rather we’ll have most likely experienced something similar or helped someone who has suffered with this too.”