Here’s a list of Mental Health Resources to Help Keep the Bay Area’s Queer Community Strong
‘A mentally fit queer community is one that’s self-aware and supportive of others’
I often reach out to SF-based Queer LifeSpace — a nonprofit for the past ten years have been providing long-term, low-fee mental health and substance abuse therapy for primarily San Francisco Bay queer communities — in search of resources that I can share with friends and family who require more help than this pretty lady can offer.
I wrote an essay last year titled “Please Text Me First”, it starts with the fact that I was doing great at that time: Mostly — sometimes, that is not a lie. The endless amount of hours we have spent alone, topped by underlying depression, has been genuinely exhausting. And, on top of that, I often find myself not wanting to talk to anyone.
Queer people often struggle with suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma, abandonment, and loss of family. As if any of these issues weren’t problematic enough, government funding for nonprofits dealing with mental health issues has dramatically decreased over the past few decades. And their model doesn’t address long-term-based services, as well. (For example, We must call attention to defunding police departments because those funds can be allocated toward social services, mental healthcare facilities, and sensitivity training never happen. LGBTQ people need these services more than outright police patrols, which result in non-violent arrests.)
I have struggled with all of the mental health issues I’ve listed above at some time or another in my life. And, these past two years didn’t make it any easier to survive through them, either. We are a social bunch; many of us were born and raised inside bars and nightclubs; these places have historically been our safe-havens. When COVID-19 hit and we were forced into isolation, it became even more clear to me how important those familiar., but unknown faces, air kisses, innocent glances, and anonymous sex were.
Some of us thrived and set goals for ourselves that promised a healthier lifestyle. Some of us got lost. As a mother to many in San Francisco, I have been blessed to have been the pillow that many have had to lay their head on.
In 2016, I named Queer LifeSpace the beneficiary for my annual Pride Party helping to raise over $64,000 that year. This collective donation helped many diverse members of our community — at times providing free services to some of its most marginalized members —, which, included queer transitional age youth (currently 12% of their client population) and elders (also 12% of the nonprofit’s client population).
On my website, there’s now an extensive list of mental health resources for our community to utilize that was shared with me by Queer LifeSpace.
A mentally healthy queer community is one that is self-aware and supportive. If you are in crisis and need help immediately please refer to the emergency list below.
- Westside Crisis Clinic — 245 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 415.431.9000 / Hours: Mon-Fri 8 AM-6 PM; Sat 9 AM-4 PM / Crisis Clinic is a voluntary, drop-in service open to any adult (18 years or older) in need of emergency psychiatric care. The Clinic is designed to stabilize low-income residents in a mental health crisis and refer that person to an appropriate source for follow-up treatment.
- Mission Mental Health Clinic — 2712 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 415.401.2700 / Hours: Mon-Fri 9 AM-5 PM / Provides the following services: mental status evaluations, medication support, urgent care, triage, support groups, individual brief and long-term therapy, and case management. Services for adults ages 18–59. No appointment is necessary to obtain services. You may also call and ask to speak to the officer of the day.
- Dore Urgent Care Center — 52 Dore St, San Francisco, CA 94103 415.553.3100 / Serves individuals who are experiencing an acute psychiatric crisis but who can be stabilized in a voluntary setting. Referral required, from community mental health clinics, SFPD, Mobile Crisis, case managers, outpatient clinics, PES triage, or medical emergency rooms.
San Francisco Free Clinic — 4900 California Street (at 11th Ave), San Francisco, CA 94118 415.750.9894 / Offers free to low-cost medical help to uninsured and under-insured patients.
On May 7th, Queer LifeSpace will hold their ‘Metamorphis’ 10th-anniversary gala. I will be your hostess for this unique, flower-filled, daytime event, art exhibition, art auction, and dance party on the beautiful patio at 620 Jones in San Francisco. Performances by Dulce De Leche, Miss Rahni NothingMore., and Fauxnique are not to be missed. There will also be an art exhibition and auction featuring emerging queer artists from the Bay Area. Part of a new program at Queer LifeSpace called EQUARTY, in support of Emerging Queer Artists in Their Youth. The program seeks to combine equitable access to mental health services and artistic resources, to bolster the growth and stability of young, queer artists in the Bay Area — a community that has been suffered greatly during the pandemic. They will also honor those individuals and organizations which have contributed significant time, attention, or resources over the past year, enabling Queer LifeSpace to fulfill its mission.