Personal Development theme of the month:
LGBTIQ+ and Mental Health
About LGBTIQ+ Mental Health
Some of us identify as LGBTIQ+. This means we may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, non-binary, queer or questioning. Or we may define our gender and sexuality in other ways. Stonewall’s glossary lists many more terms. Anyone can experience a mental health problem. But those who identify as LGBTIQ+ are more likely to develop problems like:
Being LGBTIQ+ does not cause these problems. The reasons why those with LGBTIQ+ identities are more likely to get them are very complicated. But it is most likely to do with facing things like:
It’s important to remember that embracing your LGBTIQ+ identity can also have a positive impact on your wellbeing. It might mean you have:
- increased confidence
- improved relationships with your friends and family
- a sense of community and belonging
- the freedom of self-expression and self-acceptance
- increased resilience.
What LGBTIQ+ experiences affect mental health?
Being LGBTIQ+ does not cause mental health problems. But some things you may go through as an LGBTIQ+ person can negatively impact your mental health. Examples of this include:
- Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
- Experiences of stigma and discrimination
- Difficult experiences of coming out
- Social isolation, exclusion and rejection
- ‘Conversion therapy’
You might also feel that other factors are more important for you. Your mental health problems might have nothing to do with your LGBTIQ+ identity. Mind have detailed some of the causes of mental health problems.
What help and support is available?
It’s important to remember that you deserve support and respect, whatever your identity or background. And you have legal rights to access healthcare without discrimination.
The charity Mind has a page on LGBTIQ+ mental health support covering lots of options. This includes tips on self-care, seeking help and specialist LGBTIQ+ services. They also have useful contacts to many more places you could turn to for advice and support
Did you know that February is LGBT History Month?
Useful sources of information:
LGBT Foundation provide a wide range of support services to lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. We also work with healthcare and other professionals to help make public services more accessible and inclusive for LGBT communities.
Gives information about mental health support for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer or questioning (LGBTIQ+).
Mental health Foundation
Since 1949, the Mental Health Foundation has been the UK’s leading charity for everyone’s mental health
Rethink Mental Illness
Improving the lives of people severely affected by mental illness through a network of local groups and services, expert information and successful campaigning.