LGBTQIA+ mental health
Information about mental health support for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, or asexual (LGBTQIA+).
About LGBTQIA+ mental health
Some of us identify as LGBTQIA+. This means we may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, or asexual. Or we may define our gender and sexuality in other ways. Stonewall's glossary lists many more terms.
Anyone can experience a mental health problem. But those of us who identify as LGBTQIA+ are more likely to develop problems like:
- low self-esteem
- anxiety, including social anxiety
- eating problems
- misusing drugs and alcohol
- suicidal feelings
- other mental health problems.
Being LGBTQIA+ does not cause these problems. The reasons why those of us with LGBTQIA+ identities are more likely to get them are very complicated. But it is most likely to do with facing things like:
- homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
- stigma and discrimination
- difficult experiences of coming out
- social isolation, exclusion and rejection.
It's important to remember that embracing your LGBTQIA+ identity can also have a positive impact on your wellbeing. It might mean you have:
- increased confidence
- improved relationships with your friends and family
- a sense of community and belonging
- the freedom of self-expression and self-acceptance
- increased resilience.
I decided to come out as bisexual to my family and friends, one by one, which really helped me grow in my confidence. Things are getting better with my mental health too.
What help and support is available?
It's important to remember that you deserve support and respect, whatever your identity or background. And you have legal rights to access healthcare without discrimination.
Our page on LGBTQIA+ mental health support covers lots of options. This includes tips on self-care, seeking help and specialist LGBTQIA+ services.
Our page of useful contacts also lists many more places you could turn to for advice and support.
Mental health and being LGBTQIA+
Watch Christine talk about her experiences of seeking help after her wife passed away.
This information was published in February 2020. We will revise it in 2023.
References and bibliography available on request.
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