Specialized mental health resources available for LGBTQIA+ employees; learn ways to practice allyship in the workplace

Through Vanderbilt’s mental health service provider, Lyra, specialized services and support are available for employees who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. All Vanderbilt University employees and their family members are eligible to receive 12 counseling sessions per household member each year at no cost.

Employees can browse providers on the Lyra portal by going to to complete the assessment and review provider profiles. For those who are unable to find a provider that would be a good fit, the Lyra Care Team is available to offer concierge-level recommendations.

To locate coaches and therapists with key specializations, employees can view Lyra’s provider profiles to see who has experience supporting clients with issues around gender identity and sexual orientation. Reviewing a provider’s bio can also help determine the type of techniques these mental health professionals use to support their clients.

Call the Lyra Care Team at 877-804-2856 for a personalized experience. The care team will discuss individuals’ needs and share appropriate providers.

Learn more and sign up today at, or call 877-804-2856. 

A list of frequently asked questions is available on the Office of Health and Wellness’ website.

How to be an LGBTQIA+ ally

An “ally” is someone who supports LGBTQIA+ people and equality in its many forms—publicly and privately. The key qualities of an ally are a desire to learn and understand, to help LGBTQIA+ people feel supported and included, and to address barriers to fairness and justice for everyone.

Below are ways to practice allyship:

Continuously reflect on your allyship practices. Approach conversations with empathy and openness as you learn. Respond to LGBTQIA+ colleagues sharing their typical day-to-day experiences as you would with other colleagues.

Don’t expect your LGBTQIA+ colleagues to educate you on LGBTQIA+ experiences. Seek out what you can about LGBTQIA+ culture, including history and movements. Some people may not feel comfortable sharing their experiences or identities being LGBTQIA+.

Understand that LGBTQIA+ identities represent many preferences, expressions and backgrounds and can change over time. Don’t make assumptions about the gender or sexual identity of your colleagues.

Show visual signs of being LGBTQIA+-affirming. Showing your allyship in a visual way within the workplace can help your LGBTQIA+ colleagues feel supported. One way to show allyship is to display your pronouns in your email signature, name tag and other places where your name appears.

Intervene on microaggressions and harassment. If you witness a subtle expression of discrimination or negative bias or harassment, speak up. Remember that LGBTQIA+ people may not always be able to advocate for themselves due to professional risk, so allies are critical.

About the Office of Health and Wellness
Vanderbilt University’s Office of Health and Wellness is dedicated to promoting health and wellness for staff, faculty, postdoctoral scholars and students. With a focus on prevention, education and support, the office is committed to helping members of the Vanderbilt community achieve optimal well-being and physical, mental, emotional and environmental health.

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