Fragmented Inclusion: Community Participation and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer People with Diagnoses of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

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Community participation is often cited as a crucial component of wellness for people with mental health diagnoses. Few studies explore community participation from the perspective of LGBTQ people with diagnoses of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This paper describes an in-depth qualitative study with 16 lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) people and 18 social service workers, and 2 key informants in Toronto, Ontario that examined access to communities for LGBTQ people with mental health diagnoses. Results indicate that community participation is particularly relevant to this group given the functions of communities for marginalized people as a source of support and resistance. However, the participants faced barriers to accessing support and creating social networks due to the lack of intersectional inclusion in various contexts, including LGBTQ communities and mental health/mad communities.

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