LGBTQI+ Dimensions to Mental Health
In honor of it being LGBTQI+ Month, we wanted to give space to recognize the double stigma that can come from identifying in this community while also having a mental health condition. As an affiliate of NAMI, we agree that many will experience prejudice based on their sexual and/or gender identity as well as the stigma associated with mental illness. Confronting these challenges and mental health symptoms with an LGBTQ-inclusive therapist can lead to better outcomes, and even recovery.
Early intervention, comprehensive treatment and family support are key to helping LGBTQ people live well with a mental health condition. But many people in this community struggle in silence—and face worse health outcomes as a result.
LGB adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition
LGBTQ people are at a higher risk than the general population for suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts
High school students who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual are almost five times as likely to attempt suicide compared to their heterosexual peers
48% of all transgender adults report that they have considered suicide in the past 12 months, compared to 4% of the overall US population
We recognize the weight of these numbers, and we are working to become the best allies we can be to this community. This is by no means finished work; as we see helping the LGBTQI+ population forever in the ongoing battles against prejudice and mental health disparities.
Here are some resources NAMI suggests:
The Trevor Project is a support network for LGBTQ youth providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention, including a 24-hour text line (Text “START” to 678678)
The LGBT National Help Center offers confidential peer support connections for LGBT youth, adults and seniors including phone, text and online chat
The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association's Provider Directory is a search tool that can locate a LGBTQ-inclusive health care provider
The National Center for Transgender Equality offers resources for transgender individuals, including information on the right to access health care
The American Psychological Association (APA) provides countless educational and support resources on a range of LGBTQ topics
The Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling delivers educational and support resources for LGBTQ individuals, as well as promoting competency on LGBTQ issues for counseling professionals
The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists offers numerous resources for LGBT individuals experiencing mental health conditions and psychiatric professionals with LGBT clients
Here are some local resources NAMI KDK recommends:
Open Door Health Center of Illinois is located in Aurora. They offer primary health care, behavioral health, sexual health, and substance abuse. (630)-264-1819
Rush University Medical Centers offer a variety of specialities, including specialized treatments for trans people. Liason for LGBT services: (312)-942-9888
Youth Outlook is located in Naperville. They offer social services in Illinois dedicated to LGBTQ youth. (815)-754-5331.
Community Alliance is located in Joliet. They offer advocacy, support, education services, and outreach services. (815)-726-7906.
MeetUp is a network to locate social gatherings for LGBTQ people. One gathering is located in Joliet.
Human Rights Campaign has a location in Illinois. They fight for LGBT equality in Illinois with state and local groups and legislators.
If you need any other resource recommendations or referrals, please call 630-896-NAMI or email us at email@example.com