June is LGBTQ+ Pride month, a month when the community celebrates diversity, individuality, and visibility. It is a time for acceptance and conversation – one of those conversations is about mental health struggles within the community. Mental health is an overarching problem in the LGBTQ+ community due to societal stigmas and discrimination. According to the CDC, around 60% of LGBT youth have reported that they hold feelings of sadness or hopelessness and stopped doing activities they otherwise enjoyed participating in.
LGBTQ+ Mental Health
According to Mental Health America, almost 40% of the LGBTQ+ population in the United States have reported having mental illness over the past year. That is over 5.7 million people. Mental health struggles in the LGBTQ+ community stem from various roots such as discrimination, denial from family, social acceptance and more. A 2020 survey conducted by the Trevor Project
on mental health in LGBT youth revealed chilling statistics:
- 48% reported self-harm
- 46% reported wanting to seek out mental health counseling, but were unable to receive it in the prior 12 months
- 29% have reported being homeless, kicked out, or run away
- 33%, or 1 in 3, reported having been physically threatened or harmed in their life
- 40% seriously considered suicide in the past year, that number rising to over half for transgender and nonbinary youth
Mental Health Disparities
Members of the LGBTQ+ community may also face medical discrimination. The National Alliance of Mental Illness
reports that lesbian or gay individuals are twice as likely than heterosexuals to experience mental illness. That number rises to four times for transgender individuals compared to cisgender and LGB individuals. It is imperative that members of the LGBTQ+ community have equal access to mental health counseling.
In the mental health care system, it is common for the LGBTQ+ community to be lumped together. This can stunt effective help because each of these individual groups experience different challenges. Additional obstacles include socioeconomic status, health care, race, and more that may prevent people from receiving or affording help.
Pride month is a time for the LGBTQ+ community to voice their celebrations as well as hardships. Visibility, conversation, and understanding is essential in order to bridge the disparity gap and create equal access to mental healthcare across all genders, sexualities, and demographics.
If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health in the LGBTQ+ community, reach out to us. The Mental Health Center
at Destination Hope is here offer an inclusive, effective and accepting treatment program
to lead to you a happier, healthier life.
Call Us at 866-756-HOPE
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