- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The University of Alabama at Birmingham is opening a mental health and wellness center to serve the local LGBT community.

Officials say the clinic is run by the university’s department of psychiatry and will begin seeing patients from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community on Monday.

Chair of the school’s department of psychiatry and behavioral neurobiology James Meador-Woodruff said in a statement studies have shown an increased risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide among LGBT people.

Larry McMillan will see adolescent and adult patients at the clinic and says many LGBT people avoid seeking professional help out of fear of being marginalized or stigmatized. McMillan says the clinic is a way to break down barriers and offer a welcoming environment.

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