Mental Health Challenges In The LGBTQ Community

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Taking care of your mental health is an essential part of being a health individual. However, while it plays one of the most vital parts in our health, it’s still an ignored part of our day-to-day life. A lot of you can be impacted when you have a bad mental health day. 

While it can result in something as simple as not running an errand you’d scheduled for days, it can have more serious repercussions such as missing work. While everyone may face mental health challenges, the LGBTQ community faces more hurdles when it comes to taking care of their mental health. One of the causes of this is the prejudices that they face externally.

Even if everyone can experience mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression, LGBTQ individuals are more likely to experience them. In addition to the prejudices that they face, the stigma surrounding mental illnesses is likely to prevent such individuals from seeking help.

How The LGBTQ Community Is Affected By Mental Health Conditions

According to different studies, the LGBTQ community is likely to experience issues to do with mental health at higher rates than others. 36% were found to have an anxiety disorder, 61% with depression, and 45% with PTSD. In addition to this, almost 40% of transgender individuals were found to have attempted suicide at least once in their lifetime.

There’s no single explanation for why these differences exist. However, some of the biggest contributors are trauma and stigma. It isn’t unheard of for LGBTQ individuals to face problems in the search for excellent care for mental health. A survey done by Rainbow Health in the U.S found that 10% of individuals in the LGBTQ community did not get any care for mental health due to discrimination or disrespect from mental health care providers.

Mental Health And Identity

Can someone’s identity affect their mental health? Yes! LGBTQ individuals are no different from others. Therefore, feeling a sense of love, belonging, and identity is vital. Once these things are kept in check, self-esteem can be increased, and an individual can reduce stress. When one can accept their identity and feel that others accept it, they feel whole. This allows one to feel more confident about who they are.

Improving Mental Health Spaces

Some of the ways of improving mental health care for the LGBTQ community include the provision of comprehensive treatment, early intervention, and family support. Health care providers must acknowledge challenges associated with coming out with no family support and address stereotyping and implicit bias.

Health care providers can also create a welcoming environment while treating members of the LGBTQ community. It would help if health care facilities display non-discrimination policies or trans-pride flags. Also, it would help if the employees of mental health practitioners or those in mental health facilities avoided assumptions about patients’ sexual orientation or gender identity based on their appearance. The most appropriate thing to do would be to ask an LGBTQ individual about their preferred pronouns.

Conclusion

More research is needed on the mental health needs of the LGBTQ community. This research would be much easier if individuals in the community could fully identify themselves in surveys. 

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