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Pride Month: Let's Talk about Mental Health among LGBTQ+ Youth

Lauren Nichols, Social Media Intern

June is Pride Month, so I thought it would be an appropriate time to talk about mental health among youth who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Questioning (LGBTQ). LGBTQ youth have increased risks of suicidality and mental health disorder symptoms (Rhoades et al., 2018). This increased risk is not directly caused by their gender identity or sexual orientation, but rather it is due to them being mistreated and stigmatized within our society (The Trevor Project, n.d.).

Statistics from the 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health

  • 45% of youth who identify as LGBTQ seriously contemplated suicide last year, and 14% attempted suicide (The Trevor Project, n.d.).
  • 73% of youth who identify as LGBTQ reported having anxiety symptoms (The Trevor Project, n.d.).
  • 58% of youth who identify as LGBTQ reported having depression symptoms (The Trevor Project, n.d.).
  • 82% of youth who identify as LGBTQ reported wanting mental health care services, yet only 40% of those that wanted services were able to receive them (The Trevor Project, n.d.).

How can we be allies to those in the LGBTQ+ community?

  • The most important thing we can do is be there for those in the LGBTQ+ community and cheer them on! You can show your support by wearing Pride gear or attending Pride events.
  • Be open to learn about the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Be a good listener and respond with positivity.
  • Be inclusive.
  • Be thoughtful with your words and do not assume someone's gender or sexual identity.
  • Defend individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ against discrimination.
  • If you are a parent or guardian of a young person who identifies as LGBTQ+, make sure they have access to mental health care services if they want them.

Helpful resources for youth who identify as LGBTQ+

  • The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org
    • The Trevor Project provides 24/7 access to trained counselors for LGBTQ young people by call, chat, or text message. The Trevor Project also has an international community for individuals ages 13-24 who identify as LGBTQ.
  • Trans Lifeline: https://translifeline.org
    • Trans Lifeline is a hotline that provides support for transgender individuals, by transgender individuals.

(Please note: A Friend of Mind is not responsible for the information or service provided by any of these resources)

References:

Bentley, L. (2021, July 7). Why Does the LGBTQIA+ Community Suffer from Poor Mental Health at Higher Rates? University of Utah Health. Retrieved June 13, 2022, from https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2021/07/lgbtqia_mental_health.php

GLAAD. (n.d.). 10 Ways to Be an Ally & a Friend. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from https://www.glaad.org/resources/ally/2

Rhoades, H., Rusow, J. A., Bond, D., Lanteigne, A., Fulginiti, A., & Goldbach, J. T. (2018). Homelessness, Mental Health and Suicidality Among LGBTQ Youth Accessing Crisis Services. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 49(4), 643–651. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-018-0780-1

The Trevor Project. (n.d.). 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health. Retrieved June 14, 2022, from https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2022/ 

 

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