Every year during the month of June, the LGBTQI+ community celebrates Pride. Across the globe, various events are held during this special month as a way of recognising and celebrating the influence LGBTQI+ people hav around the world as well as a chance to help raise awareness within the community of issues that still exist.
This year, Southend Pride Parade is taking place during 11th - 18th July - Find out more.
Some of us identify as LGBTQI+. This means we may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex or non-binary. Or we may define our gender and sexuality in other ways. Stonewall's glossary lists many more terms. Anyone can experience a mental health problem. But those of us who identify as LGBTQI+ are more likely to develop problems like:
Being LGBTQI+ does not cause these problems.
The reasons why those of us with LGBTQI+ identities are more likely to get them are very complicated. But it is most likely to do with facing things like:
It's important to remember that embracing your LGBTQI+ identity can also have a positive impact on your wellbeing. It might mean you have:
improved relationships with your friends and family
a sense of community and belonging
the freedom of self-expression and self-acceptance
" I decided to come out as bisexual to my family and friends, one by one, which really helped me grow in my confidence. Things are getting better with my mental health too."
Other identities and challenges
We're using 'LGBTQI+' as an umbrella term. But we know that LGBTQI+ people do not exist as one group. Everyone is different. Our identities are a complicated mix of factors, including:
gender identity and gender expression
many other characteristics.
You might face many challenges in your life that other LGBTQI+ people don't face, or even understand. This might include many other kinds of discrimination, social exclusion or social disadvantage. This can make you even more likely to develop problems with your mental health, and make it even harder to get help.
What help and support is available?
It's important to remember that you deserve support and respect, whatever your identity or background. And you have legal rights to access healthcare without discrimination.
National Mind's page on LGBTQI+ mental health support covers lots of options. This includes tips on self-care, seeking help and specialist LGBTQI+ services. They also have a page of useful contacts that lists many more places you could turn to for advice and support.