LGBTQ Pride Month: LGBTQ Mental Health Statistics Overview

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LGBTQ Pride Month flags

According to statistics, approximately 9 million people in the United States identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. That number represents 400,000 people more than the population of New York City, the largest city in the United States. It is also roughly equivalent to the populations of Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston combined, which are the next-largest three cities in the country. June is LGBTQ Pride Month, and it’s significant for these 9 million people and millions of others for different reasons.

Of the many challenges faced by the LGBTQ population, mental health is among the most severe. SoCal Empowered would like to help contribute at least a degree of heightened awareness to this serious challenge during LGBTQ Pride Month by providing an overview of LGBTQ mental health statistics as they currently stand in the United States. We have worked with people from this community repeatedly, and we welcome anyone who has serious mental health challenges and who needs residential mental health help.

Psychiatry.Org Survey

We’d like to begin our look at LGBTQ mental health by delving into a survey published by the American Psychiatric Association, or the APA. The survey revealed several troubling statistics, including:

  • LGBTQ people are more than twice as likely to face a mental health challenge during their lifetimes as compared to heterosexual people.
  • LGBTQ individuals are 2.5 times more likely to encounter challenges that include depression, anxiety and substance misuse as compared to their heterosexual counterparts.
  • LGBTQ individuals do make use of mental health services at a higher rate than their heterosexual counterparts.

Finally, the report relays an extremely troubling statistic regarding suicidal ideation. The following percentages of people of differing sexual orientations admitted to considering suicide in the past:

  • Heterosexual: 2.3 percent
  • Gay or lesbian: 4.4 percent
  • Bisexual: 7.4 percent
  • Transgender: 30.8 percent

Even in the best case scenario, gay or lesbian individuals are nearly twice as likely to have considered suicide than heterosexuals. Clearly and sadly, there is a lot of suffering in the LGBTQ community, and that needs to be acknowledged, even during LGBTQ Pride Month.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research Report

The Center for Economic and Policy Research recently published an article further detailing the struggles relating to LGBTQ mental health. In it, the writers made use of data initially presented by the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey (HPS). That data included the following:

  • Nearly half (48 percent) of survey respondents reported feelings of anxiety for more than half of the days during the previous two-week period.
  • That constituted more than double (23.5 percent) the number of heterosexuals reporting the same.
  • 39 percent of LGBT adults reported feelings of uncontrollable worry for more than half of the days during the previous two weeks.
  • That’s more than double (19 percent) the number of non-LGBT adults.
  • 24 percent of LGBT adults reported being unable to access mental health services when they needed them.
  • That’s more than twice (9 percent) the percentage of non-LGBT adults.

The disparity between LGBTQ individuals and those not in these communities is abundantly clear, and LGBTQ Pride Month is a good time – as is any day or month – for people to come to understand it.

The Mental Health America Report

Mental Health America has an informational page on its website that provides insight into the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community. Their data differ slightly from some of the information posted above, but there are also important consistencies to focus on as we move through LGBTQ Pride Month.

A few examples of these pieces of information include:

  • 4.5 percent of the population identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
  • Over 39 percent of LGBTQ people reported having a mental illness in the previous year.
  • That equates to nearly 5.8 million people, or roughly equivalent to the population of Wisconsin.
  • 8.2 percent of millennials identify as LGBTQ.
  • 3.5 percent of Gen Xers identify as LGBTQ.
  • 5.1 percent of women identify as LGBTQ.
  • 3.9 percent of men consider themselves members of the LGBTQ community.
  • 48 percent of transgender adults have considered suicide during the previous year.
  • 4 percent of the overall US population experienced suicidal ideation.

This report indicates that, yes, the LGBTQ community is prevalent in our country. It also indicates that more young people are identifying as LGBTQ than those who are a bit older.

LGBTQ Pride Month Information – Available Resources

Fortunately, whether it happens to be LGBTQ Pride Month or not, there are numerous organizations and grassroot efforts out there that are dedicated to helping members of the LGBTQ community through tough times. Take a look at a few examples below if you’re hoping to get some preliminary help:

  • The Trans Lifeline – According to its website, the Trans Lifeline, “connects trans people to the community support and resources we need to survive and thrive.” Trans people in the United States considering drastic steps should call 877.565.8860 to connect to someone who can help.
  • The LGBT National Help Center – Also known as the LGBT National Hotline, this resource exists, according to the organization’s own words, to “provide a confidential safe space where callers of any age can speak about sexual orientation or gender identity/expression issues.” Those seeking this type of support should call 888-843-4564 Monday thru Friday from 1 pm to 9 pm Pacific time or Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm Pacific time.
  • Mental Health America – MHA, as it’s known by many, offers an entire page of links to specific resources for people who are looking for different types of help.

How SoCal Empowered Can Help

LGBTQ Pride Month is a time to appreciate ourselves and others for who we are. It’s a time to connect with friends and enjoy some time together. It’s also a time to continue to learn about the struggles with regards to LGBTQ mental health and the realities that people in the LGBTQ community face every day, whether it’s during LGBTQ Pride Month or not.

SoCal Empowered is here to help those who need it. If you find yourself struggling with serious mental health issues, we invite you to contact us as soon as possible. We’ll listen to what you have to say and work through your situation to the point where we plot a course for help together. That may include a stay with us, given our welcoming and supportive environment for members of the LGBTQ community, or it may involve making use of other resources.

Either way, we’ll do our best to steer you or a loved one in the right direction, but that all starts with a call or message to us. Take that step today and let’s get started on obtaining the health and happiness everyone deserves.

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