As members of the LGBTQ+ community, it's important to know that you and your overall health matters. In mid-2023, Linn County Public Health distributed a Health Information Survey to gather insights of how members of the LGBTQ+ community wanted to receive health information and what types of health-related education they wanted to receive. As a result of that survey, it was determined that mental health was a key focus.
This page outlines resources that may help you or someone you know keep their mental, physical, and sexual health in check.
Mental Health Resources
If you or someone you know are struggling with mental health, please know that resources are available. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call/chat/text 988 to reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
Additional mental health resources include:
- Linn County Mental Health Access Center - The Mental Health Access Center is open for walk-in hours seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Anyone who is 18 years of age or older can receive services at the Mental Health Access Center.
- Foundation 2 Crisis Services - Counselors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids - UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids offers a variety of mental and behavioral health services, including counseling, medication management, community-based recovery services, and residential services.
- Vogel Counseling - Vogel Counseling and Heidi Vogel, LMHC, specializes in trauma, PTSD, relationship issues, college mental health, and life transitions.
- Make It OK - Make It OK is a community campaign aimed at reducing the stigma associated with starting conversations and increasing understanding about mental health.
- The Trevor Project - The Trevor Project provides information and support to LGBTQ young people 24/7, all year round. This organization also provides information about sexual orientation, talking about suicide, gender identity, mental health, and community.
- Mental Health and Counseling Resources Sheet (PDF) - This handout provides options for mental health and counseling services, many of which are based in the Linn County area.
One of the important pieces of your overall health and well-being is your physical health. You can keep your physical health in line by getting an annual physical with your primary care provider, staying up to date on routine and recommended vaccinations, managing any chronic health conditions, and keeping up on vision and dental care.
If you are in need of a primary care provider, it's important to find a provider that you can trust. The Linn County area has numerous healthcare organizations and clinics that offer primary care. Some providers specifically list LGBTQ+ friendly or LGBTQ+ care in their bios on Find-A-Doctor portals, so this can be a helpful factor in deciding who to trust for your primary healthcare needs. Examples of a healthcare provider specifying their LGBTQ areas of interest include:
- Robert Lancaster, ARNP, DNP, FNP-BC (MercyCare Vernon Village)
- Jennifer Hutchinson, DNP, ARNP, AGNP-BG (Internal Medicine) (UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital)
Primary care organizations in or around Linn County may include, but are not limited to:
- Eastern Iowa Health Center
- Family Medicine Specialists
- Mercy Medical Center
- UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids - Other UnityPoint Health locations, including Des Moines and Cedar Falls, offer specific LGBTQ clinics that provide primary care services.
- University of Iowa LGBTQ Clinic - Iowa River Landing - This clinic location has some evening availability and offers lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) Health services, as well as transgender care.
Note: By listing a healthcare organization on this page, Linn County Public Health does not guarantee appointments or provider availability. To determine if you can be seen at one of these locations, please contact them directly.
Vision care is another important component to your overall health and well-being. Most vision care is done on a routine basis, such as every 1-2 years, depending upon your specific situation. The Linn County area has several vision care providers who can assist with routine eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, and other needs.
If you are unsure of where to go regarding dental care, look at the dental care resources sheet (PDF).
If you are in need of assistance for paying for dental work, learn more about the NACo Dental Discount Card Program. This program provides Linn County residents, who are uninsured or under-insured with saving money on their dental service expenses. It's important to know this program is not insurance.
Sexual health is health, which is why it's important to consider this part of your overall health and well-being. With the most common symptom of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) being no symptoms at all, it's important to get tested if you are sexually active, as well as taking medications appropriately, if prescribed one to manage or prevent an STI, such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP).
Linn County Public Health and select local pharmacies are proud to offer free at-home STI test kits, making it easy, convenient, and comfortable to get this test completed within the walls of your home or safe space. To request a kit or learn more about this program, visit our website. If you have additional questions or concerns about STIs and STI testing, contact the Linn County Public Health clinic by calling 319-892-6095. The Linn County Public Health clinic also provides low-cost STI and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing on-site and an appointment can be scheduled by calling 319-892-6093.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
PrEP is the use of anti-HIV medications to keep HIV negative people from becoming infected. PrEP is approved by the FDA and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing HIV infection. Daily use of PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%. Your risk of getting HIV from sex can be even lower if you combine PrEP with condoms and other prevention methods. You can set up an appointment at Linn County Public Health to see if PrEP is right for you - call 319-892-6093 to schedule.
- Sexual Health Resources (PDF) - This document outlines sexual health locations and services available, primarily in Linn County.
- PrEP Iowa/Iowa TelePrEP - Iowa TelePrEP gives you access to PrEP in Iowa, no matter where you are. You can even request an appointment through this website. It's a partnership between University of Iowa Health Care and Iowa HHS.
- Ryan White Medical Case Management - The Linn County Ryan White Program offers confidential services to anyone in Iowa living with HIV/AIDS and services are free of charge to qualified Iowans.
- EyesOpenIowa - EyesOpenIowa is home to the only statewide adolescent sexual health network of over 1,800 agencies, schools, youth-serving professionals, teens, and parents.
We know the world can be challenging to navigate, but we want you to feel equipped and empowered to be able to live your best life. These are additional resources that may keep you healthy and achieve an optimal quality of life.
Harm Reduction is an important part of a comprehensive approach to addressing substance use disorders through prevention, treatment, and recovery where individuals who use substances set their own goals. Check out this Harm Reduction Toolbox for additional information. Additionally, you can also view the Substance Misuse resource sheet (PDF) for other services.
PFLAG Cedar Rapids
PFLAG is a national and local opportunity for creating an affirming and welcoming environment for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Additional information about the Cedar Rapids chapter can be found on their website.
Linn County offers a resource sheet (PDF) that provides information relating to LGBTQ services in our area.
My Care Community
My Care Community is an extensive network of community organizations who work together to help individuals find the care they need. Some of the services that can be coordinated through this network includes food, transportation, social workers, medical care, health insurance, employment, housing, and so much more. To request services or learn more about this program, visit the My Care Community website.