Is there anything more beautiful than embracing your true identity? Celebrating who you are, no matter your gender identity, skin color, or sexual orientation, or gender expression, is a beautiful thing. It can be difficult or challenging to be yourself with family, friends, or in public, though. As a result, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersexed (LGBTQI+) community experiences alarming rates of mental health challenges.
Belonging to the LGBTQI+ community can be a source of strength. There are often untapped resources that one would not know about if they weren’t in the community. On the other side of the coin, belonging to the LGBTQI+ community brings its own set of unique challenges. For a person on the outside, it may seem that there is no struggle, but the world can be a cruel place. Many LGBTQI+ people face discrimination or learn that not all mental health resources understand their experiences.
Mental Health Statistics IN LGBTQI+ Community:
According to statistics and surveys, LGB adults are twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition. Transgender individuals are about four times as likely as cisgender individuals to experience a mental health condition. LGB youth can also experience a higher risk of mental health conditions and suicide. This is likely because LGBTQI+ people face socioeconomic and cultural conditions that negatively impact mental health. In the United States alone, 18% of LGBTQI+ adults of color have no health insurance coverage.
Being a member of the LGBTQI+ community does not increase the risk of mental health issues. The stigma and discrimination that LGBTQI+ individuals face can increase the risk for mental health challenges, though. For Pride Month, which is a time for the LGBTQI+ community to celebrate their identity in solidarity, we wanted to take the time to share reputable mental health resources. For anyone who needs them, the following resources are excellent to use. Find the one that is right for you if you need it, and share the resources with the people you love or care about.
The Trevor Project:
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization that provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention services to people under 25 in the LGBTQI+ community. The organization has a commitment to producing new research that sheds a light on suicidology. There are life-saving programs and services that cater to LGBTQI+ youth. Trained counselors can offer 24/7 support, so reach out to them if you are a young LGBTQI+ is in criss and need a safe, judgment-free place to talk.
It Gets Better Project:
This is a nonprofit organization that aims to empower and uplift the LGBTQI+ community. The It Gets Better Project has an informational site that shares stories and gives a directory of local resources to help people get the support they need. They regularly put out educational material and programming, and have an arsenal of tools to help people in the United States and 20 other countries.
Each Mind Matters:
Made up of millions of individuals and thousands of organizations, Each Mind Matters works to advance mental health. Millions of people around the world face challenges ever single day. There’s no reason to be alone in times of struggle. Each Mind Matters is a useful resource that hosts LGBTQI+ videos, stories, and information to help overcome mental health issues.
The Trans Lifeline works to promote the general well being of transgender people. It’s a nonprofit organization with a hotline that is staffed by transgender people. Trans Lifeline helps to connect trans people with community support and resources that may be of use to them.
Association Of LGBTQI+ Psychiatrists (AGLP):
AGLP celebrates over 40 years of service to the LGBTQI+ community. Gay and lesbian members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) met secretly in the 1960s to hold annual meetings. Homosexuality could have caused them to lose their licenses to practice psychiatry at the time. Now, the AGLP is a wonderful resource that publishes a quarterly newsletter and conducts full seminars and discussion groups. It can offer many referral services and provide psychiatric professionals to people in need.