LGBTIQ+ mental health

Gives information about mental health support for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer or questioning (LGBTIQ+).

About LGBTIQ+ mental health

Some of us identify ourselves as LGBTIQ+, which means we may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer or questioning – or we may define our gender and sexuality in other ways.

LGBTIQ+ people can be at a higher risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the wider population. If you are LGBTIQ+ and have experienced mental health issues, you are not alone. You might find you experience:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • suicidal feelings

(See our pages on depression, anxiety and coping with suicidal feelings for more information)

The reasons for this are complex and not yet fully understood. However, mental health problems experienced by LGBTIQ+ people have been linked to:

  • discrimination
  • bullying
  • homophobia, biphobia or transphobia

You might also experience rejection, negative reactions or hostility from family members, friends, strangers, employers or members of the religious community. This can have a big impact on your self-esteem and mean you might feel unable to be open about your sexual or gender identity at work, at home or in the world at large.

Mental health and being LGBTIQ+

Watch Christine talk about her experiences of seeking help after her wife passed away.

Alcohol and drug use

As an LGBTIQ+ person you might also be more likely to use drugs and alcohol, for a variety of reasons. You can find out more information and what support may be available in our pages about the mental health effects of street drugs. You can also access confidential advice about drugs and alcohol on the FRANK website.

Talking about these issues and seeking support are important ways that you can manage your mental health. Here are some first steps:

  • See our pages on seeking help for a mental health problem for more information on how to get support.
  • Hear more stories from LGBTIQ+ people talking about their mental health here.
  • Try out peer support. Mind runs an online peer support community called Elefriends that welcomes LGBTIQ+ people and offers a friendly, non-judgemental space to talk about how you feel.
  • See our page of useful contacts for details of national organisations who offer mental health advice, support and services to LGBTIQ+ people, including helplines.

Anxiety and homelessness

Watch Ben talk about the mental health challenges he faced being gay and homeless.

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