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The LGBTQ+ Community and Mental Health

The LGBTQ+ community is a group of people who identify with a diverse range of genders and sexualities. However, with embracing their true selves comes difficulties of whether or not the general population would accept them into society or not.

For those who identify as LGBTQ+, it’s important to recognize how your experience of

sexual orientation and gender identity relates to your mental health. According to the National

Alliance on Mental Illness, members of this community are at a higher risk for

experiencing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Homosexual adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition. The main reason that most homosexual individuals have a harder time and struggle with their mental health is because for many on them, socioeconomic and cultural conditions negatively impact mental health conditions. Many in the LGBTQ+ community face discrimination, prejudice, denial of civil and human rights, harassment and family rejection, which can lead to new or worsened symptoms, particularly for those with intersecting racial or socioeconomic identities.

There are a few reasons why individuals’ mental health may be deteriorating: pressures of coming out, trauma, family and friends not being accepting of their decisions, and rejection. This can lead to things like substance abuse, homelessness etc.

The pressures of coming out are extremely prevalent, especially in today's day and age where unless we put a label on something, it’s not considered as valid. This can have negative mental health impacts, particularly for youth who are not in supportive environments. For many individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, coming out can be a difficult or even traumatic experience because people may start questioning the validity of their feelings; bullying also plays a major part in mental health related struggles in members of the LGBTQ+ community as well.

So what is the big takeaway? How can we still make a positive impact in making sure that the LGBTQ+ community know they are included and that they are safe? A big thing that we can do is by making sure that we don’t treat them any differently than a normal human being. People’s personal decisions and what they choose to do with their life don’t affect us, and we shouldn’t be influencing or trying to push our opinions on others unless they don’t concern us. Just taking this small step can ensure that members of the LGBTQ+ community feel like they are treated the same and are the same as everyone else.

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