Monte Nido Emphasizes Inclusive and Trauma-Informed Care for LGBTQIA+ Community Facing Eating Disorders

MIAMI (June 4, 2024) ­— Due to the unique stressors the LGBTQIA+ community faces, LGBTQIA+ individuals experience a greater incidence of eating disorders and disordered eating behaviors than their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts. Recognizing the challenges encountered by this community, Monte Nido, one of the largest and leading eating disorder treatment providers in the country, emphasizes the importance of inclusive and trauma-informed care in its mission to support full recovery.

“Research has consistently shown that LGBTQIA+ individuals are at a significantly higher risk of developing eating disorders, and nearly half of LGBTQIA+ adolescents report that they have experienced an eating disorder at some point in their lives,” said Cassie McLean, Chief Executive Officer of Monte Nido. “Factors such as societal stigma, discrimination and internalized homophobia, coupled with body dissatisfaction and the pressures of conforming to cultural norms can contribute to the development of eating disorders within this community.”

Trauma is a contributing factor in the development of eating disorders, and Monte Nido has found that the prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is significantly higher among LGBTQIA+ individuals compared to non-LGBTQIA+ individuals, with rates at 63% versus 45% respectively. This underscores the critical need for trauma-informed care to concurrently manage trauma and the eating disorder while addressing the distinctive experiences and challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. 

“We believe that care should be accessible for everyone who needs it,” said Melissa Spann, PhD, MBA, CEDS-C, Chief Clinical Officer at Monte Nido. “We’re passionate about providing personalized treatment, and our compassionate and affirming care team recognizes that no person’s eating disorder is the same, and their treatment experiences should reflect that.” 

With about a third of our clients identifying as LGBTQIA+, Monte Nido is committed to providing inclusive care and advocating for increased resources, understanding and support for those in the LGBTQIA+ community facing eating disorders. Monte Nido offers specialized programming through Monte Nido Walden’s Rainbow Road Virtual Partial Hospitalization Program (virtual PHP) and Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (virtual IOP), which are unique online eating disorder day treatment programs that provide specialized treatment and support for LGBTQIA+ clients.

For more information or to inquire about treatment at one of the Monte Nido programs, please visit

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