We know that mental health struggles can impact anyone. In fact, 1 in 4 people in England will experience a mental health problem each year. We also know that despite the many joys and positive experiences people who identify as LGBTQIA+ will have, these communities are more likely to face challenges such as homophobia, transphobia, and stigma, as well as difficult experiences with coming out.
Some of the experiences you may go through as an LGBTQIA+ person can be difficult and might have an impact on your mental health. It’s important to remember that you’re never alone in what you’re going through, and you should never have to struggle alone.
We want to highlight some of the support you can access, and ways you can help protect your mental health if you have faced (or are currently facing) these kinds of experiences.
What experiences might affect my mental health?
If you identify as LGBTQIA+, this doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically experience mental health struggles.
We want to be really clear: identifying as LGBTQIA+ doesn’t cause mental health problems. Mental health issues experienced by people in LGBTQIA+ communities is often due to the difficult things you can experience, such as:
- Stigma and discrimination
- Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
- Difficult experiences of coming out
- Rejection or social isolation
It’s important to remember that these negative experiences do not define you.
It may also be that a mental health problem you’re facing is entirely unrelated to your experience of being LGBTQIA+. All your emotions, feelings, and experiences are valid.
What can I do to take care of my mental health?
There are lots of ways you can take care of and protect your mental health.
It’s useful to know that even if you haven’t had negative experiences such as the ones mentioned above, you may still find these tips and advice useful for keeping your mental health well.
Speak to someone you trust
We know that talking about how you feel can be difficult, but it’s important to know that talking really does help.
If you can speak to someone you trust, such as a family member, a friend, or even a colleague, about how you’re feeling, it can make you feel less alone in what you’re experiencing.
Having a support system is really valuable. It’s important not to struggle alone or in silence.
NHS Talking Therapies
It can be daunting talking to someone you trust, so it may feel even more daunting to speak to someone you’ve never met! We completely understand how this can feel. But it can also really help to talk to someone impartial, who can offer another perspective without judgment. Our therapists have a broad range of skills, and they’ll be able to provide the best support you need. Many of our therapists are also members of LGBTQIA+ communities.
At Everyturn, we offer a range of talking therapies to help with many common mental health struggles. We’re here to help you work through how you’re feeling. There are many different types of therapies you can access, such as:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Digital CBT
- Psychological wellbeing support
- and many more!
Community and wellbeing
At Everyturn, we also provide practical, hands-on support to tackle a wide range of issues such as social isolation, housing, work, relationships and more.
These experiences can really impact your life, and many of our incredible community mental health team have lived experience of mental ill-health – we know what it’s like because we’ve been there too. We’re here to help you find support, as well as helping you build support networks, make friendships, and find ways to stay well.
In Newcastle, members of our incredible community mental health team run a transgender and non-binary mental health support group. The group is passionate about supporting people who are accessing or waiting to access gender healthcare. If you’re interested in accessing this support, you can fill out our CMHSS referral form. You can self refer, or refer through your GP.
Check in with yourself
Something we can all forget to do from time to time is to make sure we’re checking in with ourselves. This can be easier said than done, but taking 5-10 minutes each day to check how you’re feeling can be really useful!
There are also many things you can do to improve your overall wellbeing, such as:
- Improving the quality of your sleep by having a good sleeping pattern
- Eating well
- Getting moving to help improve your mood
These may seem like small steps to take, but they can improve your overall mood and help you manage any mental health struggles you might experience better.
It’s important not to feel guilty if you aren’t always able to do these things, as we’re all human!
We really hope that this article has been useful, and please remember you never have to struggle alone or in silence.
For more information, support and resources, visit: