Mental health is defined as “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being” and it direct relates to a person’s physical health as well. Some examples of mental health issues are depression, anxiety, mood disorders, OCD, and PTSD. Anyone can have poor mental and it is something that often goes unseen by others. It’s a very scary and sad thing when someone you love is suffering from poor mental health, but being there for them is one of the best things anyone can do.
Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are 2-4 times as likely to suffer from poor mental health than straight and cis-gender people. This is from rejection from family, friends, peers, and society. This can lead to suicide, substance abuse, PTSD, homelessness, inadequate medical care, and isolation. It’s a very scary place for LGBTQIA+ community members when they don’t have a place where they are free to be themselves. This fear also feeds into everything they are already feeling. This brings up a lot of questions on what to do and how to help.
How can I help a friend or family member who LGBTQAI+?
Be a safe for place them to express themselves and not feel judged. Be a friend and let them come to you when they need to feel safe. Its very hard to be open and trusting to people who are not part of the community so make sure it’s a safe zone. Also don’t tell other people if someone trusts you not to tell. It takes away their control in the situation and can do more harm.
Where can I go to talk to someone who is safe?
The Trevor Project is designed to help LGBTQIA+ members find who they can talk to and is always a good place start. Also finding a therapist or a professional on campus, or in the workplace is also a place to start. Joining clubs and groups for LGBTQIA+ members can also help to find safe zones.
How do I get help?
First place to start is to evaluate how badly you are feeling. If your mental health is really bad a suicide hotline might be a place to start. But you can also reach out to mental health facilities, or organizations where they can walk you through the steps of meeting with a mental health professional. Finding a therapist is very hard and it takes a couple tries before finding the right one.
Just remember to be a safe space for others. That means to listen, not judge, and not share anything unless the person is going to harm themselves or others. Also you don’t need to be LGBTQIA+ to ask for help, the goal is to be open to everyone no matter what.
Resources for those in need: