Each day, over 300,000 resilient lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ+) Coloradans navigate a world where stigma, discrimination, and the fear of harassment or violence persist. Far too often, they face the heart-wrenching loss of familial love, friendships, and vital community ties due to their LGBTQ+ identity.
The act of coming out—a courageous step—can lead to profound emotional tolls. It should be a universal reality for all LGBTQ+ individuals to live authentically and securely, free from harm. Unfortunately, many experience ongoing trauma and stress that profoundly affect their mental well-being.
The LGBTQ+ community has long been underserved, grappling with trauma within environments and systems meant to offer support. These challenges are exacerbated by intersecting identities. Recognizing this urgent need, Envision:You is committed to addressing these disparities and invites you to join us.
Together, we can erase behavioral health inequalities for the LGBTQ+ community.
According to the World Health Organization:
Approximately 970 million individuals worldwide are afflicted by mental, behavioral, or substance use disorders.
Nearly one million lives are lost to suicide annually.
Four of the six leading contributors to years lived with disability are neuropsychiatric disorders (depression, alcohol-use disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder).
One in four families includes a member with a mental disorder, impacting their quality of life.
Beyond health and social costs, those with mental illnesses endure human rights violations, stigma, and discrimination within and beyond psychiatric institutions and correctional facilities.
The Trevor Project, a lifeline for LGBTQ+ youth, recently released their annual survey, exposing rising rates of suicidal thoughts and significant disparities among trans youth and LGBTQ+ youth of color. Shockingly, 45% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously contemplated suicide in the past year, with nearly 1 in 5 transgender and nonbinary youth attempting suicide. Suicide rates have surged in the United States over the last two decades, with a staggering 129 deaths by suicide occurring nationwide each day.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of people around the world, and the LGBTQ+ community is no exception. LGBTQ+ people are already at a higher risk for mental health problems, and the pandemic has only exacerbated these risks. Emerging evidence indicates a substantial increase in mental health challenges among both the general population and vulnerable groups, including LGBTQ+ individuals.
There are a few things that can be done to help LGBTQ+ people cope with the mental health challenges of the post-pandemic world. These include:
Reaching out for support: LGBTQ+ people who are struggling should reach out for support from their friends, family, and community. There are also a number of online and in-person support groups available for LGBTQ+ people.
Seeking professional help: If you are struggling with your mental health, it is important to seek professional help. A therapist can help you understand your feelings and develop coping mechanisms.
Taking care of yourself: It is important to take care of yourself physically and mentally during this time. This includes eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol and drugs.
Staying connected: It is important to stay connected to your friends, family, and community. This can be done through in-person interactions, phone calls, video chats, or social media.