Mental health is essential for everyone. However, the mental health of LGBTQ+ individuals can be more complex than some other groups. The discriminatory and prejudicial nature of popular views on LGBTQ+ can be dangerous. This group is statistically more likely to experience mental health issues, including attempted suicide. Taking a look at why these facts are actual is vital to understanding how to help the people in the community.
How is Mental Health Related to LGBTQ+?
There is a certain stigma associated with LGBTQ+. While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason behind increased mental health issues among this group, it can be easy to infer that the stigma and shame projected on LGBTQ+ individuals contribute to the problem. Consider transgender people, of which a whopping 40% have attempted suicide, and how their mental health may be different without the negative connotations the public puts on them.
Considering how these individuals fear getting proper mental health treatment because of the unknown reactions medical professionals might have, it is essential to effect change.
How Can You Help Prevent LGBTQ+ Mental Health Issues?
You cannot necessarily prevent or heal another person’s mental health illnesses as one individual. However, you can decide not to worsen their mental health. This starts with treating people different from you with respect. Avoid asking intrusive questions that may cause discomfort. If someone wishes to discuss the more personal aspects of their life, they will be the ones to bring it up.
It is also crucial that people use the correct pronouns, so ask up front! If you’ve known an individual for a while and their pronouns change, it can be challenging to make the switch. Most people in the LGBTQ+ understand this but still desire the effort to be appropriately addressed. Be sure to try and use preferred pronouns and apologize when the wrong one slips out.
What Can Be Done to Help?
There’s no specific model for helping LGBTQ+ individuals with their mental health. Each person within the community is just that: a person. Treat them as such. Provide a listening ear and let them know that you accept them for who they are. Take an interest in your LGBTQ+ friends’ lives and learn about their experiences. Learning about the community and people from different backgrounds can help them feel heard and appreciated.
What Resources are Available?
Pride is a beautiful way for LGBTQ+ people of all ages to be with others that see them for who they are. It can be an excellent resource for any community member struggling with feelings of isolation. Various organizations are geared toward LGBTQ+ youth and adult mental health, including The Trevor Project and different LGBTQ+ allied therapists.
Contact Us Today
Our experts at Unitas Healthcare Systems can be another resource ready and able to help with LGBTQ+ mental health. Equipping this group with the necessary tools to strengthen mental health is vital to preventing future suicides. To contact us today, give us a call at (617) 401-7441 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are ready and willing to assist in this way.