LGBTQ+ Mental Health: What you can do & resources
Members of the LGBTQ+ community have always and will always be more at risk of developing mental health issues because of the society we live in and how we are treated by those outside of our community. LGBTQ+ people are 50% more likely to develop depression and/or anxiety than those outside of the community and over a quarter of people LGBTQ+ young people experience tensions at home on a daily basis. With this in mind, I think it’s safe to say that the community is experiencing a mental health crisis and has been since the pandemic began.
It’s important to remember that being LGBTQ+ isn’t what causes these thoughts and feelings, it’s not your fault. It’s a general lack of respect in outer society and the reasons why those of us with LGBTQ+ identities are more likely to get them are very complicated; all of this mixed with the healthcare crisis we’ve been experiencing for so long, it’s a lot to navigate as a queer/trans person. In my experience, acceptance and respect are the main things that LGBTQ+ people want and need to help with their mental wellbeing; whether that be a name change, pronouns or just a general acceptance of sexuality and orientation.
I don’t want this to be all doom and gloom, I want to celebrate our resilience as a community for what we have been through and may be going through currently.
It's important to remember that embracing your identity can have a positive impact on your wellbeing. It means you might have:
improved relationships with your friends and family
a sense of community and belonging
the freedom of self-expression and self-acceptance
Below I’ve linked some useful websites and contacts to find out more about the LGBTQ+ mental health experience. It’s important to note that singular people are different, if you feel comfortable asking them directly “What can I do to make you more comfortable?” then do so. Some people may not know how you could help them or they could still be questioning their identity themselves but opening up the conversation and showing that you are approachable could save a life.