Gender and Sexuality (LGBTQ+)

26% of LGBT+ youth say their biggest problems are not feeling accepted by their family, trouble at school/bullying, and a fear to be out/open. 22% of non-LGBT+ youth say their biggest problems are trouble with class, exams, and grades. 3.5% of the U.S. population identifies as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and of those, over 39% reported having a mental illness in the past year.

Individuals who identify as members of sexual and gender minorities experience increased risk for several mental health issues. For example, LGBT+ identified individuals have a 2 to 6 times higher lifetime risk of suicide and/or depression than the general population. Among trans-identified individuals, the statistics on suicidality are staggering. This increased risk for various mental health conditions in this population is mostly a result of discrimination, marginalization, and homophobia, biphobia and/or transphobia, rather than something inherent to having an LGBT+ identity. Discrimination may take several forms, including social rejection, verbal and physical bullying, and sexual assault, and repeated episodes will likely lead to chronic stress and diminished mental health. Perceived discrimination—the expectation of discrimination—may also lead to diminished mental health. LGBT+ adults may also be subject to discrimination with regards to housing, employment, education, and basic human rights. If you or anyone you know is struggling with gender or sexuality, or facing effects of discrimination because of gender or sexuality, it is time to reach out for help.

Therapy for struggles with gender, sexuality, or discrimination due to gender and sexuality may include exploring gender dysphoria, processing through past trauma and identifying present emotions. Additionally, working on developing coping and communication skills may be relevant to grow your support network and help others understand what you are going through.

LGBTQ+ standS for

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning. Additionally identifies include Asexual, Two-spirit, Intersex, Pansexual, Agender, and Gender fluid, among others

HOW CARE SUPPORTS

Providers at CARE are trained to understand and respect people in the LGBTQ+ community

Using correct names and pronouns is important to us, and we actively try to create a safe and supportive environment

How does mental health and LGBTQ+ community intersect?

People in the LGBTQ+ community face mental health concerns at higher rates than non-LGBTQ individuals. According to NAMI, people in the LGBTQ community are at higher risks for developing mental health conditions due to the prejudice, stigma, and hostility that they are faced with. Seeking help for mental health can be a struggle, due to fear, discrimination, invalidation, or further harm on the part of professionals. Reluctance to seek help may be reinforced by past mental health practices that have actually harmed those in the LGBTQ community, such as conversion therapy.