Post A FREE Business Listing & Grow Your Business!

A Guide for Parents: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youths Facing Mental Health Problems

A Guide for Parents: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youths Facing Mental Health Problems

A Guide for Parents: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youths Facing Mental Health Problems

A Guide for Parents: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youths Facing Mental Health Problems

As a parent, spotting signs of mental health problems in your children is always worrying. Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ teenagers are about 6 times more likely to experience depression than non-LGBTQ+ teens, with other issues like anxiety also more prevalent. It’s your job, therefore, to be on high alert for any mental health symptoms and know what to do if your child is struggling.

To help you, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on supporting LGBTQ+ youth facing mental health problems. From how to talk about mental health to where to go for extra help, it contains everything you need to keep your child safe. 

Seek Help For Struggling Children

If you’re concerned your child is self-harming, suicidal, or partaking in any activity that’s putting their safety at risk, seek professional help immediately. There are plenty of options available for mental health support, including LGBTQ+ mental health treatment centers and phone-in support lines such as:



Either call one of these yourself to receive professional advice or ring them with your child for support. You can also bring your child to a hospital or doctor for emergency concerns – like if they’ve threatened self-harm – to receive immediate help. 

For further support, we have a list of free counseling services that ensure help is accessible to everyone who needs it.

Understand LGBTQ+ Struggles for Teens

Getting to know common hurdles that your child may face because of their sexuality is a great way to understand more about their life. 

You’ll be able to pre-empt issues, sympathize with your child, and make difficult conversations easier.

Common causes of concern an LGBTQ+ teen might face include:


  • Coming out to family and friends
  • Fear of being rejected because of their sexuality
  • Fear of letting others down by coming out
  • Feeling isolated as one of few (or the only) LGBTQ+ teens
  • Worries about bullying and negative stereotypes


By learning more about these issues, you can do more to support your child through them.


For example, if they come out to you then you know to reassure them that everything’s okay, you love them, and you’re there for them no matter what to quell any fears of rejection. You can then ask if they need any help coming out at school or have concerns about telling others.

Learn How to Talk About Mental Health

Whether your child comes to you for support or you want to address signs of mental health issues that are concerning you, talking about it can be tricky. But an open conversation is vital to ensuring your teenager’s safety and breaking down the stigma around LGBTQ+ mental health. Here are some tips to help the conversation go smoothly

Know the Right Things to Say

To start off, some of the right things to say when your child comes to you include:


  • I’m here to listen to you and I love you
  • I know this might be difficult to talk about so take your time
  • I’d like to understand how you’re feeling
  • Always know you can come to me for help
  • I will never judge you
  • You are never alone and I will always be here for you


These supportive, loving, and calm statements can help your child feel more comfortable talking openly.

Be a Good Listener

It’s crucial you listen and give your child the space to speak without interruption. Work to understand their state of mind in the initial conversation and ask questions when there’s a break that encourages them to speak deeper into their issues. Let them know you’re listening with good eye contact, nods, and by repeating key points to ensure you’ve understood.

Never push the conversation too far or direct it yourself. Let your child take the lead if they want to and provide support by listening.

Show Plenty of Love

Your main priority during a conversation about mental health should be showing them that you care and that you’re going to help them. Mental health can be very isolating and the relief of having a non-judgemental parent show love and support may be exactly what your child is looking for.

Bullying and LGBTQ+ Mental Health

If your child is being bullied, it’s vital you report the issues to the school as well as the local authorities. Sit down with your child and talk to them about their experiences. Don’t push them into telling you everything, but let them know you understand what’s going on, how they must be feeling, and you want to help.

Ask your child if they’d like to switch schools. Having this offer on the table can make them feel less trapped in their situation and less alone. 

Whatever you do, don’t let teasing and bullying slide. It’s incredibly common for LGBTQ+ teens to be bullied and it can have long-lasting impacts on their mental health and self-esteem. 

Spotting Negative Coping Behaviors

When struggling, some teens will develop coping behaviors to deal with their mental health. Unfortunately, these aren’t always positive. If your child has mental health problems, look out for negative coping mechanisms such as:


  • Self-harming
  • Drinking alcohol or taking drugs
  • Acting out at school
  • Sleeping too much
  • Under or overeating


If you spot any of these, it’s crucial you speak to your child about them. Never ignore negative behavior in the hopes that it’ll go away. Speak calmly and with care rather than punishing your teen and – as always – offer your support.

Together, try to redirect negative behaviors into new coping strategies. These could include exercise, journaling, and joining an interest/hobby group at school. 

If your child’s negative coping mechanisms are putting them at risk, seek immediate professional help via the phone lines at the beginning of this guide. 

Seek Professional Help

Mental health problems are serious and can be life-changing. After addressing the issue with your child, one of the most important things you can do is encourage them to seek professional help in the form of a treatment center (especially good for issues like drugs and alcohol or self-harm), therapy, or your doctor.

If your child refuses to seek professional help, go in their place. As a parent, knowing how to help a child experiencing mental health problems can be overwhelming but a trained professional will be able to guide you. By explaining the symptoms and behavior of your child as well as their reluctance to seek help, you’ll be given the best advice on what to do next. 

Final Words

If your LGBTQ+ child is facing mental health problems, remember that the best thing you can do is talk to them. Hopefully, this article will help you open up a line of honest, helpful communication with your teenager and provide them with the support they need to thrive again. For any emergency concerns, remember to ring the numbers at the top of this guide and seek immediate professional help.

Get Listed Today & Boost Your Business.
First Month Free!

About Author

You May Also Like

Get Listed Today & Boost Your Business.
First Month Free!

Get Listed Today & Boost Your Business.
First Month Free!

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.