Frequently Asked Questions about Hearts and Ears
Q: What do we do at Hearts and Ears? What services are provided at Hearts and Ears?
Hearts and Ears is a non-profit organization that uses peer support and group activities to provide a safe environment for LGBTQIA+ people with behavioral health problems over the age of 18 to find support and information from people with shared identities and experiences to develop healthy ways of coping and dealing with behavioral health problems.
Q: What is peer support?
Peer support links people with shared identities, shared behavioral health problems, and shared realities through peer-run support groups and resources. Our support groups and activities change every couple of months and include identity-based support groups such as our Men’s Group and Women’s Group, interests groups such as Art Therapy and Creative Expression Group, and groups aimed at loved ones and allies of LGBTQIA+ people.
Peer support is also about passing along information and knowledge about LGBTQIA+-friendly resources to those in need of help find health professionals, legal aid, and local organizations related to homelessness, domestic violence, sexual violence. This includes a peer-led warmline operated by Hearts and Ears. Through providing these services and this space, we hope to help people learn to advocate for themselves and for their needs.
Q: What is a warmline?
A warmline is a peer-run phone network that allows people that need to talk or receive advice on how to handle difficult experiences related to being LGBTQIA+, behavioral health problems, and daily life. This does not replace crisis hotlines, but is a non-threatening, voluntary resources for people that just need someone to listen or talk to.
You are welcome to call us at 410-523-1694 during normal operating hours. If we are not available, leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. If you need to talk with a hotline immediately please call Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc, a multi-service crisis intervention center providing 24-hour crisis intervention services, shelter, transitional housing, and community education. Crisis intervention program services are available to anyone in need 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 410-433-5175 or 410-433-5255. If you need emergency medical attention, call 911.
Q: What type of insurance does Hearts and Ears take? Do I need insurance?
Hearts and Ears is not a medical practice, is not run by medical professionals, and does not require health insurance.
We offer free services that do not take the place of professional medical help but use people with shared identities and behavioral health problems to increase support and help with acceptance of self and develop tools for living with behavioral health problems.
Q: Why have a place like Hearts and Ears?
The main population that Hearts and Ears serves are low-income individuals that often do not have the monetary means or health insurance coverage to afford therapists. We seek to provide a place that bridges the gap between people who cannot afford professional help and attempt to inform people of low-cost or income-based professional resources that cater to LGBTQIA+ people and/or people with behavioral health problems.
Q: Are people who are LGBTQIA+ automatically mentally ill due to them being LGBTQIA+?
The simple answer is no, not all people who are LGBTQIA+ are mentally ill. However due to stigma, bullying, harassment, and/or lack of support face on the basis of sexuality and/or gender identity, people who are LGBTQIA+ tend to experience behavioral health problems at high rates than their cisgender, straight counter parts.
Q: Do you offer trainings on inclusivity and sensitivity towards LGBTQIA+ people?
Yes, we do. If you would like for someone to come speak at your organization, please call 410-523-1694 during normal operating hours to establish if we are the right fit for your organization and about our availability. If we do not answer, please leave a message, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.