It’s June, and that means it’s Gay Pride Month! For our part, we want to begin Gay Pride Month this year by talking about LGBTQ mental health and well-being, and just exactly why the LGBTQ community often face higher rates of mental health conditions.
Here at Well Being Trust, we spend a lot of time talking about, thinking about, and working to reduce the stigma that sometimes surrounds mental health conditions. The LGBTQ community really faces twin stigmas—the mental health stigmas that the broader population also contends with, and, then, the stigma that sometimes still surrounds the LGBTQ community. And while, in the past few decades, we’ve made some very encouraging strides in fighting both these stigmas, the intersection of these twin social forces can have tragic consequences for LGBTQ-identifying people living with mental health conditions.
For Gay Pride Month, let’s fight stigma with education. Below you’ll find a snapshot of LGTBQ mental health., and how discrimination, prejudice, and other biases can lead to poorer health outcomes.
People who identify as LGBTQ experience higher rates of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and substance misuse disorders.
One of the reasons people in the LGBTQ community experience higher rates of mental health conditions is because they are exposed to more trauma and adverse life events, due to stigma, discrimination, and other biases, which can exacerbate, or even trigger mental health conditions.
Because the LGBTQ community experiences relatively high rates of trauma due to stigma, they also frequently have more urgent mental healthcare needs. But stigma, in addition to increasing incidences of adverse life experiences, also interferes with LGBTQ-identifying people’s ability to access the care and treatment they need.
We want to know what Gay Pride means to you! How will you show your support? Join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #BeWell, #BeHeard, and #BeThere.
If you or someone you know is having a difficult time and would like to talk to someone about it, there are people who want to help. For teens who want to talk to other teens, call Teen Line at 310-855-4673, or text TEEN to 839863. You can also text LA to 741741 to talk with a trained Crisis Counselor for free, 24/7. For more information check out www.crisistextline.org.