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As we draw February to a close, we can look back on LGBT+ History month. In the United Kingdom, February is our dedicated LGBT+ History Month, which encourages us to think about the history of tolerance towards the LGBT community.

It aims to:

  • Provide young people with the history of the gay rights movement
  • Promote an inclusive modern society
  • To encourage better lives for those in the future

LGBT+ and Mental Health

A study by Chakraborty in 2011 (*) showed that those who were part of the LGBT+ community showed a higher chance of developing a mental illness, or dealing with poor mental health.

Mind (**), the mental health charity, has a page on their website dedicated to LGBT+ people dealing with mental health issues, it reminds us that being LGBT+ does not cause these problems, but that they may face extra challenges. The reasons why those with LGBT+ identities are more likely to suffer with mental health issues are very complicated. But the article states that it is most likely to do with them experiencing things like: homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, stigma and discrimination, difficult experiences of coming out, social isolation, exclusion and rejection.

Mind suggest different types of support that may help:

  • Talking to someone you trust
  • Peer support, this could be from other LGBT+ people, or people with mental health problems, or both
  • Self care

Dealing with these issues can be extremely hard to deal with alone. Switchboard (***) is a charity with only LGBT+ volunteers who are there to provide support where possible. During London Pride 2019, Switchboard launched the first phase of their ‘Safe Space’ campaign to raise awareness of their services through the normalisation of questions, concerns and terminology within the LGBT+ community.

Here at The Eaves, we also have a number of Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Psychologists who can help if you are feeling affected by anything mentioned in this article. By calling our team on 01483 917000, we can help to find you a suitable practitioner.

References:

(*) Chakraborty, A., McManus, S., Brugha, T., Bebbington, P., & King, M. (2011). Mental health of the non-heterosexual population of England. Journal of Psychiatry, 198, 143–148.

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/lgbtiqplus-mental-health/about-lgbtiqplus-mental-health/

https://switchboard.lgbt/