Mental Health America understands that racism undermines mental health. Therefore, we are committed to anti racism in all that we do. This means that we pledge to work against individual racism, interpersonal racism, and institutional racism in all their forms.
LGBTQ+ Communities and Mental Health
Everyone has a sexual orientation and gender identity. Sexual orientation is who you are romantically or physically attracted to. Gender identity is the internal sense of being male, female, both or neither, which is separate from your biological sex. People who have a different sexual orientation or gender identity from most people fall under the umbrella term LGBTQ+. It is really important to know that identifying as LGBTQ+ is NOT a mental illness or disorder.
Although being LGBTQ+ is absolutely not a mental illness, many LGBTQ+ people experience mental health struggles. The bisexual and transgender communities have the highest rates of mental health concerns within the LGBTQ+ population. Younger members of the LGBTQ+ community struggle the most with mental health concerns of all the age groups.
Most LGBTQ+ individuals are incredibly resilient and will thrive in the face of adversity, with the help of supportive families, communities, and peers. One study even found that LGBTQ+ people used mental health services at 2.5 times higher rates than their вЂњstraightвЂќ counterparts. 1 However, they are also at particular risk for experiencing shame, fear, discrimination, and adverse and traumatic events.
Also, many people who identify as LGBTQ+ are part of second (and sometimes third or more) community that is marginalized.