Watch: Irish sexual health professionals speak candidly about LGBTQ+ sexual and mental health

Gay Health Network and have released two videos focussing on sexual and mental health in the LGBTQ+ community.

A bearded young man with glasses speaks to the camera

In celebration of Pride 2021, and the Gay Health Network (GHN) have released a two-part video series that focuses on sexual and mental health surrounding LGBTQ+ individuals.

The videos depict four sexual health professionals speaking openly about the importance of looking after our sexual and mental health.

One of the speakers in the video, Phil Corcoran, explains that good sexual health is “not just the absence of sexually transmitted infections,  it would also incorporate somebody being able to advocate for the kind of relationships that they want, and being free in their sexuality.”

The speakers also allude to the sex-positive nature and zero judgment ethos of the services that they offer and how everyone is welcome.

The interviewees include Billie Stoica, a support worker with Gender Orientation Sexual Health HIV (GOSHH), in Limerick. Diego Caxieta, an outreach worker with MPOWER Dublin. Konrad Im, an LGBTQIA+ sexual health advisor and Phil Corcoran, who is a senior health promotion officer with Sexual Health Centre, Cork.

“Our sexuality, our sexual expression, our gender identity our self-expression, they are all part of our sexual health. And when our sexual health is good, generally we are healthier,” tells Billie Stocia.

The second video discusses issues around Mental Health and how it is connected with our sexual health.

Billie Stocia goes on to describe this as follows; “When we are thinking about who we kiss, and how we kiss and where we kiss or whether we kiss; do we come away from that feeling good about ourselves? Are we empowered to go for what we want, or do we shy away from the reality of our desire? In this, sexual health and mental health are absolutely connected. You can’t have one without the other.”

The videos offer a warm, informative, and insightful viewing for anyone who is sexually active.

Bill Foley, Secretary of GHN said, “Minority Stress has become something many of us are more conscious of. It means that being part of an oppressed minority carries with it its own stress factors. While many of us manage to live healthy, happy, well-adjusted lives despite this, there are many more who are at higher risk of anxiety or depression as a result.”

The films were funded by the HSE and supported by the LGBTI+ Community Services Fund 2020.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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