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.
- The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health provides brand new data on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health care disparities, discrimination, food insecurity, conversion therapy, and suicide — in addition to the benefits of LGBTQ-affirming spaces and respecting the pronouns of transgender and nonbinary youth. Find the survey located here: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2021/
- 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/
- The Trevor Project
- Lambert House
- Youth Mental Health First Aid Class
- Washington’s Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens
- Mental Health Resource Hub
- Understanding the connection between sexual orientation and substance abuse in the LGBTQ community
Heidi’s story of growing up gay and religious, ensuing addiction & recovery