A Look at Mental Health During Pride Month 2021 – My Brain’s Not Broken

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Last June, during Pride Month, I delved into some stats and data on mental health and the LGBTQ + community. As in many other communities, the numbers of LGBTQ + people dealing with mental health problems vary widely, and the numbers speak for it. And while it won’t be news to our siblings in this community, it becomes the stark reality as we try to understand how LGBTQ + people are affected by mental disorders and illnesses.

According to the Trevor Project National Survey on Mental Health of LGBTQ Youth 2021:

  • 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and non-binary youth.
  • 12% of white teens attempted suicide compared to 31% of Native / Indigenous teens, 21% of black teens, 21% of multiracial teens, 18% of Latinx teens, and 12% of Asian / Pacific islanders.
  • 94% of LGBTQ youth said recent policies have had a negative impact on their mental health.
  • In the past year, almost half of LGBTQ young people asked for advice from a psychologist, but did not receive it.

From the National Alliance for Mental Illness:

  • 40% of adult transgender people have attempted suicide during their lifetime, compared to less than 5% of the total US population.
  • LGB adults are more than twice as likely to develop mental illness as heterosexual adults, and transgender people almost four times as likely to develop mental illness as cis.
  • LGB adults are almost twice as likely to develop addictions as heterosexual adults. Transgender people are almost four times more likely to develop addictions than cis people.

From the American Psychiatric Association:

  • LGBTQ people are more than twice as likely to develop a mental disorder during their lifetime as heterosexual men and women.
  • LGBTQ people are 2.5 times more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and substance abuse than heterosexual people.

As I thought about these statistics and what they said, I thought a lot about the conclusion that I wrote a similar post about last year:

Sometimes groups of people are disproportionately affected by mental health problems because of that group’s opinions and attitudes towards mental health. But we need to recognize the link between treatment of the LGBTQ + community and the prevalence of mental health problems among this population. It is important to understand the role we all need to play in creating spaces and relationships for people where they are comfortable being themselves. Mental health is a nuanced topic, and this is one of the many areas that needs more discussion.

It is not enough to acknowledge that there is a link between the inequalities in the mental health of our LGBTQ + friends and the way society treats them. We need to realize that if we want these differences to shrink, they will go hand in hand with more love and support from the rest of us and a willingness to keep loving and providing resources for those who need them. Happy Pride month 2021 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

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