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LGBTQIA+ mental health

Being LGBTQIA+ isn't a mental health problem. And it doesn't cause mental health problems.

But those of us who are LGBTQIA+ often face difficult experiences, like discrimination and stigma. These experiences can affect our mental health.

LGBTQIA+ stands for:

  • Lesbian
  • Gay
  • Bi+
  • Trans and non-binary
  • Queer and questioning
  • Intersex – also known as variations of sex characteristics (VSC) or differences in sex development (DSD)
  • Ace and aro

The 'plus' represents other experiences and identities not named in LGBTQIA.

You may use one or more of these terms to describe yourself. Or you may use other terms. Stonewall's glossary includes many more.

You may also feel like you don't need to define yourself with any terms. Or that these terms don't represent your unique experiences and needs. 

Remember: Mind is here for your mental health, no matter how you define yourself.

What experiences might affect my mental health?

What affects your mental health is personal to you. But certain experiences are more likely to lead to poor mental health. This includes some experiences related to being LGBTQIA+.

Because of this, LGBTQIA+ people are more likely to have mental health problems, like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and eating problems. And to experience things like low self-esteem, stress and suicidal feelings. 

Our resources explain some experiences that may affect your mental health. You might identify with several of these experiences and identities. This may mean you face unique, overlapping challenges. 

Lesbian and gay mental health

Some things you may experience as a lesbian or gay person could affect your mental health – for example, homophobia or conversion 'therapy'. Find out more.

Bi+ mental health

Read about difficult experiences of being bi+, like biphobia or experiencing abuse. And learn how these could impact your mental health.

Trans and non-binary mental health

If you're trans or non-binary, you may experience things that affect your mental health. This might include discrimination in healthcare, or barriers to legal gender recognition. Learn more.

Intersex mental health

Learn how some experiences as an intersex person could affect your mental health. For example, experiencing shame and stigma, or social exclusion.

Ace and aro mental health

If you're ace or aro, find out how certain experiences might impact your mental health – including acephobia or arophobia, and discrimination.

Intersectionality and LGBTQIA+

Different parts of your identity can interact with each other – such as your age, race, religion, and being LGBTQIA+. These can also interact with your experiences, including negative ones like discrimination. Learn how this could affect your mental health.

Help and support for LGBTQIA+ mental health

It can feel hard to find support for your mental health – especially if you're LGBTQIA+. But help is available. We have information on how you can get support. 

We also know that there can be many positive experiences with being LGBTQIA+. We have tips for celebrating being LGBTQIA+, and other ideas for taking care of yourself.

And we have ideas for supporting someone else in your life who is LGBTQIA+.

Self-care for LGBTQIA+ people

Find tips for taking care of your wellbeing as an LGBTQIA+ person. Learn ways to celebrate being LGBTQIA+, look after your health and find peer support.

Finding support for LGBTQIA+ mental health

Those of us who are LGBTQIA+ may have challenges with getting good mental health support. Find ways to get the right support for you.

Supporting someone who is LGBTQIA+

Learn ways to support someone who is LGBTQIA+. Includes tips for challenging stigma, helping them seek help and recognising your own biases.

Useful contacts

If you're LGBTQIA+ and have mental health problems, find details of organisations that can offer support.

Published: May 2024

Next review planned: May 2027

References and bibliography available on request.

If you want to reproduce this content, see our permissions and licensing page.

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