In today’s day and age, it’s unfortunate that we have not made more strides when it comes to inclusivity and destigmatizing sexuality and gender identity. Because of the stigmas that still surround the LGBTQIA community, people within this group face higher rates of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. To further the issue, some people still feel uncertainty and discomfort about seeking professional help.

That’s why at Inner Source Psychotherapy & Consultation Services, we strive to create an inclusive and supportive environment where anyone can feel comfortable asking for the help they need. If you or a loved one is LGBTQIA, it’s important to understand the types of mental health issues that are commonly seen within the community, and steps that can be taken to address those issues.

Common Mental Health Challenges for LGBTQIA

According to Mental Health America, 4.5% of the population in the U.S. identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Of that 4.5%, more than 39% report having a mental illness — this equates to about 5.8 million people. The most common issues reported are depression, PTSD, and some type of anxiety disorder. The American Psychiatric Association states that individuals within the LGBTQ community are more than twice as likely to struggle with a mental health issue than heterosexual men and women. While there is no explicit answer for the disproportion in mental health challenges, many LGBTQIA individuals report experiencing discrimination, stigma, and having less social support. The amount of support and inclusion people feel can absolutely play a role in their mental health and overall well-being. If you’re not able to live and love as you identify that can translate to more stress and less self-esteem.

How to Address Psychological Challenges

Striving for more inclusion is essential to the health and happiness of the LGBTQIA community. As a loved one, you can take steps to show you care by giving personal support and advocating for basic rights. Asking questions and active listening shows respect and acceptance. Educate yourself and reflect on other ways in which you can be a good ally.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health. However, seeking professional help in the form of therapy is a great place to start. At Inner Source Psychotherapy & Consultation Services, Dr. Beth works with a team of medical and health practitioners to ensure she can provide her patients with well-rounded and collaborative care. For more than 30 years, Dr. Beth has worked with LGBT individuals and couples, as well as their families, to provide the support needed to address the mental health challenges this community faces.

If you’re new to therapy or you’ve had a less-than-helpful experience in the past, it can be hard to take the first step in reaching out for help. Thankfully, Dr. Beth is here to offer supportive counseling when you need it most. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office. We’re happy to speak with you to ensure our counseling services feel like a good fit. Then, we’d love to schedule your first appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.