Mental Health Awareness in the LGBTQ Community
To commemorate the Stonewall riots, the month of June is recognized as the LGBT Pride Month. Pride events are held all over the country all month long to recognize the impact that LGBTQ people have had on the community, and the world, since the riots in Manhattan in 1969. Rainbows and glitter and dancing, oh my! But there’s much more to be aware of in the gay community, and it refers to mental health.
Become Aware of the Mental Health Issues
For many individuals in the LGBTQ community, their sexual identity comes with challenges of prejudice, discrimination, confusion, and loneliness, to say the least, which often leads to mental health issues. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that those in the sexual minority group (LGBTQ community) were more likely than their heterosexual peers to suffer from mental health issues. While the occurrence of any mental illness was an estimated 17.1% for the sexual majority or heterosexual group, this number rose to 37.4% for the sexual minority group.1 LGBTQ individuals are twice as likely to develop a mental health disorder in their lifetime.
While there may not be direct causation, prejudice and discrimination are clearly major contributions to the mental health issues prominent in this community. In fact, those who identify as LGBTQ are at a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts than the general population.2 Mental health should be taken seriously, regardless of sexual orientation.
Mental Health Treatment in the LGBTQ Community
Amit Paley, the CEO and Executive Director of the suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for the LGBTQ youth known as The Trevor Project, claims that suicide is an ongoing public health crisis, and a better understanding of the mental health experiences of LGBTQ youth is a major step in addressing their significantly higher risk of attempting suicide.3
Early intervention, family support, and mental health treatment can help confront these challenges and lead to better outcomes. Another way we can increase mental health awareness in the LBGTQ community and improve the problems is to not only encourage mental health treatment but to also provide more accessibility.
Mental Health Services in Naples
Here at Counseling of Southwest Florida, we’re a treatment center that offers bipolar treatment, trauma therapy, anger management counseling, and more mental health services in Naples. We support the LGBTQ community, and our treatment specialists are here to listen and help in any way that we can. If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health disorder, call us today.
- SAMHSA – Sexual Orientation and Estimates of Adult Substance Use and Mental Health: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
- NAMI – LGBTQ
- HuffPost – 1 in 5 Queer Young Adults Attempted Suicide in the Past Year, Study Shows
Casey is the founder and CEO of Portner Counseling Group (PCG), a counseling center in the Fort Lauderdale area, which specializes with issues related to drug and alcohol use. Casey has completed focused course work on the physiological aspects of drug addiction and human psychology, as well as received extensive training on the treatment of co-occurring disorders.