for better mental health

Why LGBTIQ+ support matters

Tuesday, 04 February 2020 Bex

Bex blogs about why LGBTIQ+ mental health services are so important.
Bex is a trainee mindfulness practitioner and enjoys connecting with nature and getting creative.

I’m a trainee practitioner for Rainbow Mind; an amazing project for the LGBTIQ+ community, which focuses on providing relevant mental health and wellbeing services that actually meet the needs of the LGBTIQ+ community, with practitioners who are also LGBTIQ+. It’s a game-changer.

"I identify as a proud Queer Femme. I sometimes have anxiety issues"

I identify as a proud Queer Femme. I sometimes have anxiety issues that ebb and flow depending on what’s going on in life. I've been through rough patches; life throws us curve balls from time to time! For me, anxiety can sometimes show up for in the body, as a tightness, or sensations. And I am much more aware of the body-mind connection since deepening my own practice and training. I have found mindfulness has been really helpful for me and was a key part of my most recent journey in dealing with those anxious times. Self-compassion, kindness and finding tools and healthy coping mechanisms to support myself when challenges in life appear. I also recommend dancing in my living room, walking in nature, hanging out with my cats and getting creative as ways to support wellbeing.

"I have nearly a decade of experience working with queer young people"

I have nearly a decade of experience working with queer young people, older LGBTIQ+ people and queer woman. I know from both personal and professional experience that unfortunately it’s too common for those of us who are not straight or cisgenered to experience mental health issues to a higher degree to our straight counterparts. This is particularly the case around our sexuality, and gender identity. This interspersed with the intersections of one’s class, culture, race, if we identify with having a disability, religion, caring responsibilities, family etc. can bring up feelings of not being accepted, of shame, internalisation of hate and oppression, the fear of being harmed, and the risk of homelessness. These are just few of the issues those who are LGBTQ+ are likely to face that can impact our mental health.

"We here. We're Queer. And we're not going anywhere! <3"

As a Queer person, it sometimes feels like we're always fighting the fight. Well... We're tired. We're tired of doing that on our own! We need ally-ship, and not just when its summer and it's Pride in London, and you want to party with us. or assimilation around Drag Race (don't get me started on the exploitation of queer stereotypes and catering for a cisgender/heterosexual audience) or putting rainbows all over your products and calling that being an ally. These feelings extend to our services. I believe LGBTIQ+ mental health will improve when services cater for ALL of us. When queer youth see themselves represented in the media, when straight people challenge homophobic slurs and language, and when people aren't just bystanders to violence to the LGBTIQ+ community. 

We here. We're Queer. And we're not going anywhere! <3

 

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