Mental Health of the LGBT+

Although acceptance is on the rise, LGBT+ needs are becoming talked about, and steps are being taken in the right direction for growth; mental health concerns are still heavy in the LGBT+ community, affecting the community disproportionally but having an even greater toll on the Transgender individuals. The CDC noted that most gay and bisexual men can sustain good mental health even being at a higher risk for mental health concerns. However, homophobia, stigma, and discrimination have negative affects on mental health and can lead to depression, bipolar disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. These concerns are high with Bisexual and gay men, but even higher for those who are not cis-gendered such as non-binary or transgender individuals.

The Trevor Project sends out a national survey on LGBTQ youth mental health. The 2020 survey being there second release of information, the data represents over 40,000 LGBTQ youth ranging from 13-24 across the entire United States. The Trevor Projects found the over 40% of respondents considered suicide in the past year (12 months), this number raised to above half when looking at solely transgender and nonbinary youth. Over 60% of LGBTQ youth reported symptoms of generalized anxiety, this number rising to over 75% when looking at transgender and nonbinary youth. 61% of transgender and nonbinary youth have reported being prevented or discouraged from using their preferred bathroom in the past year. These numbers represent across the entire united states, some states having more LGBT+ inclusivity and protection.

In Kansas sexual orientation and gender identity have just become protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations in 2020. Even with this step forward, a bill passed allowing discrimination when adopting, and a proposed bill would ban transgender students from playing in sports with their gender identity. There is still much pushback, and although Kansas is lagging in legal action, steps in the right direction are being made. These laws affect the entirety of the LGBT community and the constant stress can lead to the negative mental health outcomes as described above. With a positive social structure and support mental health may not be a concern, however, the LGBT+ community is affected disproportionality and it is important to check in with a mental health specialist and/or your support system to make sure there are no concerns. Kansas City public library has resources for LGBT+ members to become connected with safe places, activism, and local socialization to find a support system. In Wichita there is the Center of Wichita and Wichita State University that are local resources to provide mental health and other needed support for the LGBT+ community. Although the LGBT+ community is affected disproportionately in mental health concerns, having a strong support system, checking in with your mental health, and utilizing the resources within reach will mitigate negative health concerns and help some find a much-needed positive community. Here at the coalition, we strive to provide up to date information and access to services that are needed or requested by the community we serve. For more information please look at our mental health resource page.

Sources

Boyacioglu, N. E., Dinc, H., Keser Ozcan, N., & Bayram Sahin, A. (2020). LGBT+ Individuals’ sexual and mental Health: A comparison WITH Hetereosexual Group. Cyprus Journal of Medical Sciences, 5(3), 189-195. doi:10.5152/cjms.2020.864

Williams, D., Dodge, B., Berger, B., Kimbrough, A., & Bostwick, W. B. (2020). Self-Reported health concerns and Healthcare experiences among DIVERSE Bisexual men: An EXPLORATORY qualitative study. Journal of Bisexuality, 20(3), 301-323. doi:10.1080/15299716.2020.1822256

Barry, C., Speed, D., & Best, L. (2020). Negative social experiences mediate the relationship between sexual orientation and mental health. Journal of Homosexuality, 1-23. doi:10.1080/00918369.2020.1819710

CDC. (2016, February 29). Mental health for gay and bisexual men. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/mental-health.htm

Mallory, C., & Sears, B. (2020, April 22). Discrimination against Lgbt people in Kansas. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/lgbt-discrimination-ks/

Su, D., Irwin, J. A., Fisher, C., Ramos, A., Kelley, M., Mendoza, D. A., & Coleman, J. D. (2016). Mental health disparities within the lgbt population: A comparison between transgender and nontransgender individuals. Transgender Health, 1(1), 12-20. doi:10.1089/trgh.2015.0001

Paley, A. (2020). The Trevor Project national SURVEY 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2020/?section=Suicide-Mental-Health

FREEDOM FOR ALL AMERICANS. (2021). Kansas archives. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://freedomforallamericans.org/category/states/ks/

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