LGBTQ individuals are almost three times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. This disturbing fact exists partly because LGBTQ communities face ongoing discrimination and prejudice, not only for their sexual orientation or gender identity, but as a diverse community, many individuals also face racism and prejudice for their ethnicity and culture as well.
As a result, discrimination towards these communities come from a variety of places, including family members, colleagues, faith leaders, community members, healthcare providers and other institutions. With all of these factors harming the mental health of LGBTQ communities, it is crucial that the stigma surrounding mental illness be removed from the equation.
Eliminating mental health stigma takes the voices of many individuals who are open to sharing their mental health experience or listening to others as they share their story. By doing so, you can help your community know they are not alone. Help to provide a safe space for those who share their journey and start by sharing your own feelings with those who you know will be accepting.
You have a right to be seen, be heard and be healthy in body, mind and spirit. Your voice can help end the dual discrimination and stigmatization that members of LGBTQ communities often face.
Characterized by excessive fear or anxiety that is difficult to control and negatively and substantially impacts daily functioning.Learn More
Defined by a persistent pattern of inattention (for example, difficulty keeping focus) and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity (for example, difficulty controlling behavior, excessive and inappropriate motor activity).Learn More
Characterized by atypical, dramatic swings in mood, and activity levels that go from periods of feeling intensely happy, irritable, and impulsive to periods of intense sadness and feelings of hopelessness.Learn More
Characterized by difficulties regulating emotion. People living with BPD feel emotions intensely and for extended periods of time, and it is harder for them to return to a stable baseline after an emotionally triggering event.Learn More
Depression can present different symptoms depending on the person, but is often characterized by physical and mental changes that significantly interfere with daily life. Common symptoms include: hopelessness or guilty thoughts, loss of energy, changes in sleep, changes in appetite, lack of interest in activities and physical aches and pains.Learn More
Characterized by an involuntary escape from reality characterized by a disconnection between thoughts, identity, consciousness and memory.Learn More
Describes illnesses that are characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape.Learn More
Defined by the presence of persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are intrusive and unwanted (obsessions), or repetitive and ritualistic behaviors that a person feels are necessary in order to control obsessions (compulsions).Learn More
Characterized as the development of debilitating symptoms following exposure to a traumatic or dangerous event. These can include re-experiencing symptoms from an event, such as flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance symptoms, changing a personal routine to escape having to be reminded of an event, or being easily startled/tense that makes daily tasks nearly impossible to complete.Learn More
Characterized as disruptions to a person’s thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real and what isn’t. These disruptions are often experienced as seeing, hearing and believing things that aren’t real or having strange, persistent thoughts, behaviors and emotions.Learn More
Characterized by persistent symptoms of psychosis resembling schizophrenia with additional periodic symptoms of mood disorders, such as mania and depression.Learn More
A brain disorder that impacts the way a person thinks (often described as a “thought disorder”), feels and acts. It is characterized by a range of mental, behavioral, and emotional experiences that can include: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior.Learn More
friends and family members who may be living with a mental health condition. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate, but sometimes people do. Your peers or friends may encounter different forms of prejudice and discrimination than you do, and it is important to let them know you can be trusted. Sometimes all it takes is a hug, a call or a positive text.
Hey, it seems like you’ve got a lot on your mind lately. How are you?
I just wanted to say that I am here if you want to talk about anything – Can we get together this week?
I noticed you have missed a few days of school, and I just wanted to check in with you and see how you are doing.
I haven’t seen you in a while! How have you been?
I know life can feel like a lot sometimes, but if you need someone to talk to, I want you to know I am here.
You’ve seemed a little down lately and I wanted to see how you are doing.
I just want you to know I am here for you if you ever need to talk. You’re my friend and I won’t judge you.
I know things have been hard lately; let me know if you want to talk about it. I’m here for you.