Get help now Make a donation

Self-care for LGBTQIA+ people

Self-care means things we do for ourselves to help improve our mental and physical health.

Practising self-care can help boost our self-esteem. And it can be a valuable way of taking care of ourselves. Especially if we have negative experiences linked to being LGBTQIA+, such as discrimination.

We know that some of these ideas might not be possible – especially if you can't safely be out as an LGBTQIA+ person.

Finding ways to support yourself doesn't fix any discrimination you've experienced. Institutions and other people are responsible for making society safe for you.

Only do what you feel comfortable with. And try not to put too much pressure on yourself.

Talk to someone you trust

It might feel hard to talk about how you're feeling. But many people find that sharing their experiences can help them feel better.

You might want to open up, but not feel able to talk to someone you know. You could try calling an LGBTQIA+ helpline, such as Switchboard. See our useful contacts page for other helplines you could try.

Find peer support

Making connections with people who have similar or shared experiences can help. This could be other people with mental health problems, other LGBTQIA+ people, or both.

Peer support can happen in person or online. Online peer support may feel safer or more comfortable in some situations. For example, if you live somewhere you don’t feel able to be out as LGBTQIA+.

Some peer support communities include:

  • LGBTQIA+ groups. There may be support groups in your area or online for all LGBTQIA+ people, or for specific identities. The Consortium website lets you search for different types of LGBTQIA+ service across the UK. This includes self-help and support groups. Trans Unite allows you to search for trans and non-binary support in the UK.
  • Online groups. There are lots of forums online you can join to talk about being LGBTQIA+ and your mental health. Side by Side is Mind's supportive, anonymous online community you can use to talk about your mental health. Rainbow Mind offers online support groups for LGBTQIA+ people. Our information on staying safe online may help if you’re thinking about sharing personal information online.
  • Workplace groups. Some organisations run LGBTQIA+ staff networks. If you’d like to set one up in your workplace, Stonewall's information on setting up network groups may help.
  • Groups for LGBTQIA+ people of colour. The Consortium website lists LGBTQIA+ groups for people of colour. Stonewalls information on Black LGBTQIA+ groups may also help.
  • Religious and Faith groups. The Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG) website has a list of organisations supporting LGBTQIA+ people from different religious and faith groups.
  • Groups for older and younger people. Age UK has information on LGBTQIA+ peer support for older people. And Brook has information on regional support for young LGBTQIA+ people.

Our useful contacts page lists lots of organisations that may have online or in person peer support groups.

I often get asked why I play for an LGBT+ football team. It provides a safe space to play and also it allows me to meet like-minded people in a space that doesn't revolve around bars and clubs, which felt at the time to be the only way of meeting gay people.

Celebrate being LGBTQIA+

It can sometimes feel like being LGBTQIA+ is a negative experience. This is particularly if you experience discrimination. Or if you can't comfortably be out in your environment.

Finding times to celebrate being LGBTQIA+ can help you feel like part of a community. And make you feel happier being yourself.

Some people refer to these moments as 'queer joy'. But you don't have to use that term if it doesn't work for you.

These moments don't have to be big or public. And you can find them on your own or with others.

You could:

  • Watch a film, listen to music, read a book, or enjoy art. These could be made by LGBTQIA+ people, or be about LGBTQIA+ topics.
  • Spend time with people who accept and celebrate you for who you are, either in person or online.
  • Celebrate the achievements of other LGBTQIA+ people. This could be someone close to you, like celebrating two LGBTQIA+ friends getting married. Or it could be someone you don't know, like celebrating an LGBTQIA+ person making a difference in politics. Events like Pride can also be good ways to celebrate being LGBTQIA+.

We know it's not always possible to find these moments. Or it can feel like they aren't enough if you're having lots of negative experiences. But looking out for these moments can have a positive impact on your self-esteem.

I have found that just being in the company of other LGBTQIA+ people is comforting, even if it was just a social situation. Being around other people like me helped me to accept that I am completely normal, valid and have a voice.

Engage in hobbies

This could include things like crafts, cooking or gaming. You could do these on your own or join a group. There may be LGBTQIA+ groups in your area that do your hobby together.

The Consortium website lists some social and hobby-based groups for LGBTQIA+ people.

Look after your physical health

Taking care of your physical health can often have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing. We have information that can help you:

There may be unique challenges to looking after your body if you're trans or non-binary. This is especially if you're not comfortable with parts of your body. Gender Construction Kit has information on how to manage discomfort with your body.

I began to keep an online blog – it was the one place where I was able to express my inner conflict without having to vocalise how I was feeling.

Think about how you use social media

Social media can be a great way to connect with others. But you may also encounter LGBTQIA+ abuse. You might see people sharing anti-LGBTQIA+ news and see anti-LGBTQIA+ comments.

You might find yourself seeking out harmful things online, as a form of self-harm. It can help to review who you follow on social media. And block accounts or sites that make you feel worse.

To find out more, visit:

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.

A-Z of mental health

See a full list of all our information topics. Diagnoses, experiences, treatments, coping tips, support options and more.

Mind's online shop

Order packs of printed information booklets, leaflets, cards, gifts and more.

For young people

Are you under 18? We have loads of mental health information, tips and videos just for you. Take a look.

arrow_upwardBack to Top