LGBT & Mental Health Issues
In recent years there has been much more of a focus in mainstream media on mental health, and increasingly there is more awareness of issues that have forced many people to suffer in silence previously. However, things are only just starting to change, and an area that still hasn’t been fully addressed is the noticeably higher rate of mental health problems among the LGBT+ community.
There are an increasing number of options for people struggling in this situation, including specialist gay & lesbian counselling to help people overcome the specific issues they face in day-to-day life. Mental health problems for LGBT+ people might stem from particular problems they are dealing with at a certain time, for example coming out, relationships, family issues, bullying and discrimination. Any kind of homophobic or transphobic abuse is highly likely to lead to low self esteem and increased pressure on a person’s mental health, so these kind of instances can often be traced back as the cause of an unhealthy cycle.
However, for many people, counselling or other methods may help even when there are few specific causes or clear triggers for the person’s issues. The fact is that the vast majority of people with different sexual orientations or gender identities are under immense pressure from society throughout their entire lives. This fact is reinforced over and over again by surveys and personal stories that reveal much higher levels of anxiety, depression, stress and suicidal tendencies among LGBT+ people than the national average.
This is not always linked to particular events or relationships as such, but a more complex picture of a person’s life and the pressures on that individual from many different angles. That’s why a deep understanding of any individual’s state of mind is always required to offer meaningful help, and this explains why specialist counselling or therapy for LGBT+ people can be very beneficial. Someone may need to work to overcome many psychological barriers in order to achieve a healthier mental state, but in many cases the first step is for an understanding person to reach out and help. This is not something that happens enough at the moment, and we hope to see it become a more prevalent part of our healthcare systems in the years to come.