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Cultural Sensitivity

Mental Health and the LGBTQ+ Community

October 1, 2020


Our society is at an inflection point that is holding us all accountable to make a reality of the equal rights that our country is built upon – including those of the LGBTQ+ community. Below, we’ve shared resources that might help you to understand the intersection of psychiatry and LGBTQ+ rights, and what we can do to create more equity.

28% of LGBTQ+ youth said they felt depressed most or all of the time
LGBTQ+ young people are more than twice as likely to feel suicidal, and over four times as likely to attempt suicide
Among LGBQ+ adults living with mental illness, 13% had a serious mental illness (only 4% of hertero-sexual adults living with SMI)
Those who identify as transgender were most likely to screen positive or moderate to severe for a mental health condition
57% of transgender and nonbinary youth who have undergone conversion therapy report a suicide attempt

“Today, social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists often fail to listen with an ear to the political aspects of their practice. We are not trained to work together with our clients or to be creative in the collaboration. However, clinicians today absolutely need to pursue new forms of clinical activism. The status quo in community-based mental health care is often ethically unacceptable.”

– David S. Byers, Assistant Professor at Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research

76% of LGBTQ+ youth felt the recent political climate impacted their mental health or sense of self