LGBTIQA+ Mental Health
In honour of Pride month, we want to take a moment to talk about LGBTIQA+ mental health.
Pride month is a time when members of the LGBTIQA+ community, along with all their allies, get together to celebrate the ideals of inclusion, love, acceptance, diversity, and equality. It’s also a time to take note of the hard work, determination, and perseverance that has gone into bringing us to the state we’re in now, in terms of acceptance and inclusion.
Negative Impact on LGBTIQA+ Mental Health
Pride is also a time to recognize that LGBTIQA+ community continue to experience discrimination, marginalization, oppression, harassment, and other forms of violence. These things really impact these individuals in terms of their health and mental health.
Rainbow Health Ontario and the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health have put together an LGBTQ Mental Health Fact Sheet. The sheet goes into detail, showing that members of this community struggle more with their mental health than members of the heterosexual community.
Members of this community are also more likely to have experienced childhood mistreatment, and to be in workplaces and hopes that aren’t accepting. Even in society in general, there is still messaging telling LGBTIQA+ people that they don’t fit in or aren’t good enough. This leads to a lot of internalized homophobia and negative assessments of self.
What Can Be Done?
A key factor that will help is to have supportive, inclusive environments. This is important at all levels, from federal down to an individual’s personal life. Some things that can help are:
– Laws that protect human rights of LGBTIQA+ community
– Workplaces with inclusive policies and anti-discrimination policies in place
– Neighbourhood associations and community centres & organizations that are inclusive & welcoming
– Supportive and inclusive specific community & family life for the individual
Who Can Help?
There are many agencies across Ontario, Canada and online that are very supportive of this community. Qualia Counselling has always been a place that strives to be inclusive of all people, including the LGBTIQA+ community. Please contact us if you’d like to know more about the services we provide.
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