Gay and bisexual men, and all men who have sex with men, can sometimes find it difficult to discuss the issues they face in life.
Fear of stigma, judgment or discrimination about our lives, and the decisions we make, can make it difficult to speak up – whether to friends and families or to doctors and other services. The result is often feelings of isolation and being alone, with no one who you are confident speaking with.
Through one-to-one support our Health Improvement Team will work with you, allowing you to make informed choices about the sex your having, and your sexual, physical and mental health and wellbeing.
We have extensive experience of working closely with individuals to support improvement in their health and wellbeing in a confidential and supportive manner. We are well equipped to support individuals who face discrimination because of their race, identity, sexuality, gender, sexual health, and HIV status.
One-to-one support is available to gay and bisexual men, and all men who have sex with men, including transmen.
One-to-one support may be able to help with the following issues:
‘Coming out’ can be a lifelong process. It can often leave individuals feeling alone, vulnerable, and fearful of the judgement and discrimination they will face as a result of their disclosure. Decisions like who, when and how to come out to others can be hard. We can help you develop strategies to manage some of the fears and difficulties you may be feeling, and support you as you go through your journey.
Coming to terms with an HIV or Hepatitis C diagnosis is often a difficult and confusing time. Issues like understanding treatment, preventing onward transmission, deciding if and how to tell others, and dealing with both social and targeted stigma can all be real concerns. We can help you work through these issues and begin to think more positively about the future.
People can face a range of difficulties throughout their lives, which often affect their confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. We know that gay and bisexual men are disproportionately affected by poor mental health, with nearly half experiencing depression and anxiety at some point in their lives. In addition, many gay and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men, have self-harmed and/or been affected by poor body image and eating disorders.
If you are concerned about your emotional or mental health, are feeling down or are socially isolated, we are here to listen. Speaking to someone can help to make a real difference. We can also support you in accessing support from appropriate mental health services. To find out more about mental health, have a look at our information here.
We believe that gay and bisexual men, and all men who have sex with men, should be able to enjoy sex, have good relationships and be able to make good choices about the sex they have. It is important that men are able to negotiate the sex they want, and enjoy it with the least harm.
We can help you with the following concerns:
We recognise that gay and bisexual men are disproportionately affected by drug and alcohol issues and that, sometimes, when we take drugs and alcohol, we make decisions that we later regret. We offer a program of support where we can work with you to reduce some of the harm associated with substance misuse and, if appropriate, refer you on to specialist support services.
For some gay and bisexual men, the use of drugs during sex can be a way to cope with anxiety, isolation, stigma, body image and sexual performance. Liberated from such feelings, some guys say that using chems helps make sex more pleasurable.
However, ChemSex can often have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. It can lead to feelings of loss of control, estrangement from friends and wider social engagements.
ChemSex often becomes addictive and can start to take control of your life. Sexual experiences become less intimate and fulfilling, but the need for more and more sex with chems remains.
We work with many guys who are going through this, supporting them to reduce or stop engaging in ChemSex. We will work with you to understand the reasons why ChemSex can be so addictive, and look at safe strategies where you can start having sex that is stimulating, pleasurable and intimate with the least harm to you and your partners.
To find out more information about ChemSex, click here.