At Banyan Mental Health, we welcome members of the LGBTQ community with open arms, but sadly, that is not always the case. Because of prejudices and discrimination from others as well as possible feelings of confusion, loneliness, and even shame, the overall mental health in the LGBTQ community can be cause for concern.
LGBTQ mental health issues are a serious problem. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that those in the sexual minority group (LGBTQ community) were more likely than their heterosexual peers to suffer from mental health issues. While the occurrence of any mental illness was an estimated 17.1% for the sexual majority or heterosexual group, this number rose to 37.4% for the sexual minority group.1
As is often the case, poor mental health can lead to problems with addiction as well. In 2015, it was estimated that 15.1% of adults in the LGBTQ community had an illicit drug or alcohol use disorder in the last year as compared to the heterosexual group at just 7.8%.1 This means that not only could your loved one be dealing with depression because of issues relating to societal pressures stemming from their sexual orientation, but they could also be drinking too much to try and cope with these negative feelings. Without alcohol and depression treatment to address both, the results could be devastating.
LGBTQ suicide rates are higher than in the heterosexual community as well. One survey estimated that while 14.8% of heterosexual students had seriously contemplated suicide, 42.8% of LGBTQ youth wrestled with these thoughts in the past year.2 That is almost half of the LGBTQ community. Dual diagnosis treatment just might save your loved one’s life.
Because June is Pride Month, we want to make the general public more aware of these LGBTQ mental health problems. We also want to encourage friends and family to check in and support their LGBTQ loved ones to prevent these unnecessary addiction issues and suicides from still occurring. If you do notice these problems, get help immediately. An LGBTQ-friendly mental health program like ours could make all of the difference.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health disorder, our mental health PHP in Boca may be able to help. Untreated mental health disorders can have serious consequences.