C895 & Seattle Children’s Present: Coping 101 – LGBTQ Mental Health

Stigma, bullying and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity contribute to higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation in the LGBTQ+ community, especially among youth. Supportive and accepting parents, families, friends, coworkers and school communities can do a lot to help those in the LGBTQ+ community be mentally healthy and well, and can notice if a problem develops. Help is available with many resources proven to save lives. Know the signs of a mental health problem and act early.

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, LGBTQ youths are three times more likely to seriously contemplate suicide and five times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youths.
  • LGBTQ youths who experience family rejection are eight times more likely to attempt suicide and nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression. Because just one-third of LGBTQ youths have accepting parents, during the pandemic many were quarantined with adults who rejected their identity, increasing their risk for negative mental health impacts.
  • Relative to their straight peers, nearly twice as many high school students who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual report experiencing bullying.
  • Despite high rates of psychological distress, adult support can help. Students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual and students of color were less likely to report adult support and were less likely to be highly hopeful for their future than were their peers.
  • Inequities associated with race, income, and language are exaggerated among LGBTQ youth.
  • There is a growing population of immigrant and refugee LGBTQ young adults, many of whom are ostracized in their cultures. Some still reside in their cultural communities, but they are unable to access needed services.
  • For more info on supporting transgender or gender-diverse children click here: https://pulse.seattlechildrens.org/dr-gina-sequeira-discusses-gender-identity-and-explains-how-caregivers-can-support-gender-diverse-children/

Resources:

Heidi’s story of growing up gay and religious, ensuing addiction & recovery 

*Warning: this video includes sensitive subject matter, adult content & language*

Gender Identity Chart, covering terms such as transgender, trans, gender-diverse, cisgender, nonbinary. Image links to text of original article.
From JAMA Pediatrics: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2780234
Gender Unicorn graphic. Image links to text of original article.
from Trans Student Educational Resources: https://transstudent.org/graphics/

Visit Coping 101 for resources and links on other mental health topics.

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