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It's Pride Month! The Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize, and Hardin Counties has mental health resources for the LGBTQ+ community.

The LGBTQ+ community faces unique struggles as a marginalized community which affects their mental health. Our LGBTQ+ youth are particularly at risk. Keep reading for resources and professional help or visit wecarepeople.org/lgbtq.

What Does LGBTQ+ Mean?

Our LGBTQ+ community members deserve to feel welcomed and supported. This starts with understanding and using the correct terms to support LBGTQ+ mental health.

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LGBTQ+ is an acronym for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer" with the plus sign to recognize the limitless sexual orientations and gender identities used by the community.

The MHRSB uses LGBTQ+. But people identify themselves in many ways and some people may prefer a different term to what we have chosen.

You might see people and other organizations use LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQIA, LGBTQIA+, and more. Respect others use and the terms people choose for themselves.

Lesbian
A sexual orientation that is most often associated with women who are attracted to women. 

Gay
A sexual orientation that is most often associated with men who are attracted to men, though some people use gay interchangeably with other sexual orientations. 

Bisexual
A person who is attracted to more than one gender.

Transgender (Trans)
People whose gender indentity and assigned sex do not align in culturally expected ways. It is an internal identity and not something you can determine in someone else.

Queer
An umbrella used to describe LGBTQ+ sexual orientations and/or gender identities. Historically a derogatory term that has been reclained by the LGBTQ+ community.

The plus sign covers a multitude of identities and terms including intersex, asexual, pansexual, genderqueer, and two-spirit.

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Most of these terms relate to either sexual orientation or gender identity. Everyone has a sexual orientation and gender identity. The culturally expected sexual orientation is heterosexuality and gender identity is cisgender.

Cisgender
A person whose gender identity and assigned sex at birth align in culturally expected ways (e.g., someone assigned male at birth and identifies as a man). 

Gender Dysphoria
Medical terminology used to diagnose distress experienced by some individuals whose gender identity does not correspond with their assigned sex at birth.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) includes gender dysphoria as a diagnosis. While many transgender individuals experience gender dysphoria, there are many who do not. Identyfing as transgender is not a disorder.

Identifying as LGBTQ+ is not a mental illness or disorder. LGBTQ+ individuals face discrimination, prejudice, denial of civil and human rights, harassment and family rejection, and social stigma. This can lead to new or worsened mental health conditions.

Homophobia
The system and individual oppression of people whose sexual orientation does not conform to heterosexual. 

Ally
A word used to describe someone who is actively supportive of LGBTQ+ people. Includes straight and cisgender allies.

The LBBTQ+ community needs everyone to be an ally. Allyship and support can reduce the issues that lead to mental health conditions. Learn more about how to be an ally.

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LGBTQ+ and Mental Health

People in the LGBTQ+ community have mental health issues at higher rates. 61% have depression, 45% have PTSD, and 36% have an anxiety disorder. -Rainbow Health

40% of transgender individuals attempt suicide in their lifetime which is 9 times more than the overall rate in the U.S. - U.S. Transgender Survey 

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Youth identifying as LGBTQ+ are at even higher risk for depression, anxiety, and suicide.

26.% of gay, lesbian, or bisexual students attempted suicide between January and June of 2021 - CDC

LGBTQ+ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth. - Mental Health America

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Two out of three survey participants reported that someone had tried to convince them to change their sexual orientation. - The Trevor Project

These statistics show the discrimination and harassment LGBTQ+ youth face. They need our support. Help LGBTQ+ youth in your life by sharing this youth-specific resource with them.

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The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ young people under 25. They have resources for adults & youth and a 24/7 support line.

24/7 Youth Line: 1-866-488-7386

Text Line:  678 678

Supporting Our LGTBQ+ Community

LGBTQ+ individuals face discrimination, family rejection, harassment, fear of violence, and denial of civil and human rights. This can lead to new or worsened mental health conditions.

40% of LGBTQ+ adults have experience rejection from a family member or close friend.

It is just as mentally healthy to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming as it is to be straight or cisgender.

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One of the best ways to support someone who identifies as LGBTQ+ is to accept them for who they are.

We all belong in our community! By creating safe and welcoming places for everyone, we can support LGBTQ+ community members.

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How to be respectful of people who identify as LGBTQ+:

  • Take their lead on which language terms to use

  • Be curious about their life without being invasive

  • Educate yourself on how to be a good ally

  • Be willing to make mistakes and try again without being defensive

  • Ask people about their preferred pronouns

  • Apologize if you make a mistake and move on

  • Do not ask trans-identified people about their birth name or medical steps toward transition

Take Care of Your Mental Health

You might be showing symptoms of a treatable mental health issue and need professional help. A quick way to find out is to take a mental health screening. You can also take a screening on behalf of a loved one.

Take an anonymous screening at wecarepeople.org/screening.

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You or a loved one might need professional help. The 24/7 Hopeline is a local helpline staffed by real people. You can also text 741 741.

24/7 HOPEline: 1-800-567-4673

Crisis Text Line: 741 741

Looking for local mental health resources? Call 211 or visit allen211.org.

There are also mental health and other specific hotlines for the LGBTQ+ community. These hotlines include:

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
The True Colors United (for homeless youth): 1-212-461-4401

Some LBGTQ+ individuals put off physical and mental health care out of fear of discrimination. Some individuals don't get the care they need because of discrimination. Get the care you need by finding the right mental health professional. 

Get in-depth help for finding the right provider at bit.ly/lgbtqNAMI.

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If you are in crisis call 1-800-567-HOPE (4673) or text 741 741.