Posted by Suzy Wedley on 21 June, 2022
Mental health difficulties can impact anyone, no matter their race, gender, sexuality, age or religion. However, research has shown that members of the LGBTQI+ community are more likely to have experienced poor mental health and suicidal thoughts. There are a number of reasons behind this, including hate crime, bullying and discrimination. On top of this, there is the pressure of trying to live as someone you know you are not, and the pressure of coming out to the people around you. This can have a profound effect on your mental health. Keeping quiet, holding it in, and not being able to be true to yourself can cause feelings of anxiety and depression. There is also the fear of discrimination in healthcare services and the stigma of talking about mental health, which can make it difficult for members of the LGBTQI+ community to break that silence.
If you are struggling with any element of your mental health or wellbeing, there are a few different ways you can get some support to help you to feel better again.
As a TALKWORKS therapist, I often find that at the end of the initial assessment, people say how much better they feel after opening up to someone about their experiences. Being able to express yourself openly in a safe space can be a very powerful thing - so finding someone you trust to begin that conversation, and to practice what you might say to others, can be really helpful. Opening up to a friend or family member is a good first step, and may give you the confidence to reach out for further support if required.
There are various different online support groups where you may find support and advice to help improve your health and wellbeing:
Ask your doctor for support – and if you are not happy with one doctor in a practice you can always ask to talk with a different one. It can be difficult to do on your own, so if you are nervous about getting help, you can take a friend or family member along with you.
Here at TALKWORKS, our therapists are trained on supporting the needs of people in the LGBTQI+ community. Our service is inclusive and open to anyone over the age of 18, living in Devon. As an NHS service, we value each person as an individual and everyone we see is treated equally. If you are feeling low, anxious or overwhelmed and you’re unsure why, please don’t wait before reaching out and talking to someone. The sooner you reach out for help, the sooner we will be able to help you feel better again. You don’t need to see a GP or healthcare professional to access TALKWORKS - you can simply self-refer via our online form, or by calling us on 0300 555 3344.
If someone you know in the LGBTQI community wants to talk to you about their mental health, there are a number of different ways that you can support them: