Mental Health and the LGBTQIA+ Community
June is Pride Month
Did you know that the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community is more likely than non-LGBTQIA+ individuals to struggle with their mental health?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
- “LGBTQIA+ adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition.”
- “LGBTQIA+ people are at a higher risk than the general population for suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.”
- “High school students who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual are almost five times as likely to attempt suicide compared to their heterosexual peers.”
“When schools are not in session, it may be particularly difficult for LGBTQIA+ teens who live with family members who are not understanding or affirming, or perhaps are unaware of their youth’s internal thoughts or feelings. These teens often rely on the support of their peers and school groups such as Gender Sexuality Alliances,” said Noël Hiers, LCSW, Supervisor of School Based Youth Services, Cape May County Technical School.
“With higher rates of suicide and mental health concerns, it’s critical that LGBTQIA+ youth are supported as they navigate the often challenging stages of adolescence.”
If you are worried about the emotional health of your LGBTQIA+ teen or young adult, here are 8 signs to look for
- Changes in personality, including withdrawing from friends and social activities.
- Lower grades.
- Increases in school absences.
- Drastic weight change.
- Alcohol and/or drug use.
- Self-injury, such as cutting.
- Bullying, including physical bruises and cuts and/or emotional signs such as fear and avoidance.
- Giving away personal items which may be an indication your child may be suicidal.
It's important to know that mental health support is available for LGBTQIA+ youth and adults. If you or your loved one need additional support, our clinicians are available to help via our telehealth services. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) for more information.