Original Research - Special Collection: Mental Health

Mental health challenges experienced by LGBTI+ community in Gaborone: A phenomenological study

David S. Mangwegape, Eva Manyedi, Boitumelo J. Molato
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 28 | a2347 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v28i0.2347 | © 2023 D. S Mangwegape, Eva Manyedi, Boitumelo J. Molato | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 January 2023 | Published: 29 September 2023

About the author(s)

David S. Mangwegape, Department of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Institute of Health Sciences, Lobatse, Botswana
Eva Manyedi, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Science, North West University, Mahikeng, South Africa
Boitumelo J. Molato, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Science, North West University, Mahiken, South Africa


Background: Mental health challenges have affected the entire global population including individuals identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and others (LGBTI+). There is documented evidence of a high prevalence of mental health challenges among LGBTI+ community across the globe, but in Botswana there is dearth of literature pertaining to the phenomenon of LGBTI+ mental health challenges.

Aim: The study was aimed at exploring and describing the mental health challenges experienced by some people identifying as the LGBTI+ community in Gaborone, Botswana.

Setting: The study was conducted in Gaborone in Botswana.

Methods: The study adopted a qualitative, phenomenological, descriptive design with 15 participants identified through snowball sampling. LEGABIBO, the LGBTI+ advocacy organisation, served as gatekeeper after Health Research and Development Division under the Ministry of Health and Wellness gave the ethical clearance of the study. Data were collected through unstructured telephonic interviews and recorded with a digital voice recorder.

Results: The study established that some LGBTI+ individuals experienced mental health challenges like experiences of depression, experiences of gender dysphoria, and loneliness and isolation.

Conclusion: It is concluded that individuals identifying as LGBTI+ experience mental health challenges that stem from being stigmatised and discriminated among others.

Contribution: The findings of the study provide information that may be used in dealing with mental health issues of individuals identifying as LGBTI+. Furthermore, the findings may inform nursing practice, research and education issues on LGBTI+ as well as influence health policy in addressing the mental health issues of those identifying as LGBTI+.


challenges; depression; gender dysphoria; LGBTI+; loneliness; isolation; mental health

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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