According to the research lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning are more at risk of experiencing mental health issues due to different socioeconomic and cultural conditions. Depression, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidality, substance abuse, and eating disorders are the common mental health issues among LGBTQ community.
Not only this but 2020 report also shows that more than 1 in 3 Americans LGBTQ faced some kind of discrimination in 2019. The report adds that this discrimination adversely affected the mental and economic well-being of LGBTQ Americans. Other factors like family acceptance, peer pressure, and bullying are also responsible for the bad mental health of LGBTQ.
LGBTQ youth suffers a lot because of their sexual orientation, so it’s so necessary to help them cope these situations because LGBTQ lives matter.
In this article we’ll discuss all the mental health statistics, factors that make LGBTQ more vulnerable to bad mental health, and strategies to promote mental health among LGBTQ. So let’s walk into it.
There are different pieces of research and surveys that provide global mental health statistics about LGBTQ youth but for your understanding we’ve jotted down major surveys in this regard.
According to the largest 2019 survey of the LGBTQ youth mental health by the Trevor Project,
39% of LGBTQ youth considered attempting suicide in the year 2018.
71% of LGBTQ youth reported discrimination due to gender identity and sexual orientation.
71% of LGBTQ youth felt sad or lonely for at least 2 weeks in 2018.
Another 2021 TransActual Trans Lives Survey reports that:
63% of respondents experienced transphobia while seeking employment.
85% of trans people experienced transphobia from their family members.
85% of trans women faced transphobic street harassment from strangers.
These mental health statistics clearly depict the challenges faced by common LGBTQ people across the World.
A problem can be treated once it’s causes are identified. Similar is the case with LGBTQ mental health issues.
Being LGBTQ doesn’t mean that those people would surely have mental health issues but unfortunately, such people are more vulnerable to mental health issues. Mass awareness about the reasons why LGBTQ are more vulnerable to mental health issues is necessary for their survival.
So, here is the list of some common reasons behind LGBTQ mental health issues:
Acceptance by family guarantees the healthy survival of LGBTQ people because in stress conditions attachment system automatically activates. At this point, acceptance by the caretaker is like a new hope to live for such people.
But if family members deny the existence of LGBTQ, the sense of security and confidence diminishes and this refusal adds to the number of reasons for attempting suicide.
Experts say that LGBT youth often experience a disruption in the parent-child relationship if they get rejected based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Many religions and cultures around the world don’t accept the existence of LGBTQ people. Continuous pressure of religious and cultural beliefs makes LGBTQ hopeless and they think of themselves as dishonest and sinful. Such people also try to avoid every kind of gatherings that makes them non-social and offensive.
Every year a large number of LGBTQ youth are bullied in U.S. schools and colleges. This widely affects both their mental and physical health.
Bullying also puts LGBT youth more at the risk of depression, anxiety, stress, drug abuse, suicidality, and a bad academic career.
Peer pressure and the fear of non-acceptance by colleagues is also a risk factor that makes LGBTQ people hopeless and helpless. As one’s community has a great impact on his personality so many LGBTQ people tend to suppress their gender identity just because of peer influence.
This peer pressure is more likely to affect gay men. Study shows that among gay, teasing seems to be directly linked to body dissatisfaction, emotional health problems, and low self-esteem.
One of the key findings of the 2019 Trevor project is that 98% of LGBTQ youth said that a safe space social networking site for them will be helpful and 87% think that it’s important for LGBTQ to reach out to the crisis intervention organization that aims at focusing and helping LGBTQ youth.
Experts suggest that a proper set of strategies can help promote mental health among LGBTQ because no single strategy can change the situation to 180 degrees.
Therefore we’ve listed down some important expert suggestions that can help improve the mental health issues of LGBTQ people:
An early diagnosis of mental illness can prevent the worsening of mental health issues and also reduce suicidal chances. A good knowledge of mental health issues among LGBTQ, their friends and family can surely save their lives.
What do you think the most important step to treat mental health problems besides taking medicines is? Surely it’s mental health counseling that ensures the healthy survival of the patients. For LGBTQ patients living remotely, online or virtual mental health counseling can be very helpful. Regular psychologist sessions can help convince the patient and give him confidence and satisfaction about his gender identity, body structure, and sexual orientation.
Psychotherapy is really more than mere talking.These days counselors have tools that help them monitor their client’s progress and also provide intervention between their one-on-one sessions. These steps are quite helpful especially for LGBTQ people whenever they feel hopeless and experience suicidal thoughts.
Experts at NHS also support that talking with a therapist can help with issues like low self-esteem, depression, suicidal thoughts, difficulty in accepting one’s identity, coping with bullying and anger. So what can be a better option than virtual therapy for LGBTQ people?
Supporting LGBTQ people publicly is a great initiative that can save their lives. People should be addressed about anti-LGBTQ language and action and taught how to support LGBTQ through their hard times.
Generally, behavior of family members and colleagues is like a turning point for the LGBTQ suffering from mental health problems.
So the Counseling of family members and colleagues is an inevitable step for ensuring the survival of LGBTQ. Family members and colleagues should be guided about how to manage the difficult times and help LGBTQ deal with emotional problems. This helps LGBTQ people to easily open up to their near and dear ones.
Depression, stress, suicidality, PTSD, and eating disorders are common mental health issues among the LGBTQ community. Though there are a number of reasons like family nonacceptance, bullying and cultural beliefs behind these issues, still the survival of LGBTQ can be rest assured. For this purpose experts suggest different strategies like mental health therapy of LGBTQ, mass awareness and counseling of family and friends that can bring new hope to LGBTQ lives.