It’s June, which means it’s Pride Month! During this special month, the LGBTQIA+ community takes time to celebrate themselves, recognize the equalities they’ve achieved, and focus on the work yet to be done. As mental health professionals, we think Pride Month is also an important time to discuss the special mental health issues that the LGBTQIA+ faces.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 American adults experience some form of mental illness. Sadly, this number is much higher among members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
This is because LGBTQIA+ individuals face different life stressors than their heterosexual counterparts. Members may be worried about coming out to their family and friends and may face family estrangement when they do come out. Members also face discrimination in a variety of aspects of their lives including employment, housing, education, finances, and more.
Sadly, these unfair realities make it more likely that an LGBTQIA+ individual, especially a youth, will experience a mental illness such as depression or anxiety or even worse – attempt or commit suicide.
Research shows that:
Unfortunately, there’s a stigma in the US for anyone to reach out for help if they are depressed, anxious, or suspect they have another mental health issue such as being bipolar. Breaking this stigma is even harder for individuals who aren’t straight, and already face a higher amount of social stigmas and discrimination in their day-to-day lives, and may not have the support from family and friends that they need.
Whether you identify as LGBTQIA+ or you’re an ally to the community, you can help LGBTQIA+ adults and youth connect to the mental health care professionals they need when they’re experiencing depression, anxiety, or another mental health issue. By accepting your friends and family for who they are, having an open ear to listen to them, asking if they need help if you notice they seem withdrawn or distant, and pointing them to resources like our counseling services, you can help improve the mental health of LGBTQIA+ individuals.
As counselors, we’re very attuned to the special mental health issues that the LGBTQIA+ community experiences. And we’re extremely concerned about the higher rates of suicide attempts within this community.
Our goal as counselors to our LGBTQIA+ patients is to be a trusted resource for mental wellness and support. We have caring, listening ears, we’re advocates for you, and we’re allies. Through counseling sessions, we can help you with a variety of issues you may be facing or have experienced in the past, including:
Wherever you are in life, we’re here to help you with your walk to mental wellness.
We know that reaching out for counseling can be a difficult step. But if you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, or need to process trauma, we encourage you to connect with us.
You can reach us by either calling our offices at (504) 302-7771 or filling out our online contact form.