Mental Health Risks for LGBTQ+
Unfortunately, discrimination and bias can increase the risk of mental health issues like depression and anxiety among people who identify as LGBTQ+. Specifically, societal discrimination leads to an increased experience of trauma, harassment, rejection, housing insecurity, healthcare barriers, and economic challenges. These stressors may threaten mental health and prevent or delay treatment.
Research on the prevalence of mental health issues in the LGBTQ+ community suggests that:
- LGBTQ+ adults are more than twice as likely to experience a mental health condition than non-LGBTQ+ adults.
- Transgender people are nearly four times as likely to experience a mental health condition than cisgender people (people whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth).
- LGBTQ+ youth are more than twice as likely to report depressive symptoms than their non-LGBTQ+ peers.
- Transgender youth are twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms, including suicidal thoughts and behaviors, in comparison to cisgender LGBQ+ youth.
Getting good LGBTQ+ mental health care
Given the real and harmful discrimination many people face, it can feel especially challenging to find good care. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:
- Sometimes people feel uncomfortable calling to make an appointment because they worry about being misgendered or mistreated in other ways. When you call us, you will speak to an agent who is sensitive to your needs, concerns, and pronouns. If you prefer to have a friend or other ally call for you, that is fine as well.
- You may request an LGBTQ+ competent provider and ask them questions about their experience, such as:
- What experience do you have with the LGBTQ+ community?
- Do you have any specific training to work with LGBTQ+ clients?
- If a provider does not seem like a good fit for you, you may request someone else. You are seeking help to improve your mental health and it is important that you feel respected and heard.
Services for Mental Health
- Individual therapy – Psychotherapists use a variety of techniques to help people recover from mental health challenges, resolve personal issues and make beneficial changes in their lives.
- Psychiatry – Medications work to balance the brain chemicals responsible for regulating emotions and thought patterns, which can improve mood, anxiety and other mental health symptoms.
- TMS – Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive treatment that uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of many mental health conditions.
Why Seek Help?
Untreated mental health issues impair quality of life, damage relationships, and increase risk for a range of difficulties, from unemployment and substance abuse to physical harm and death. Untreated mental health issues in youth may damage academic and social development and increase risk of self-harm and other dangerous behaviors.
If you or someone you love suffers from mental health issues, call Athena Care today. One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step toward a better life.