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LGBTQ+ Teens: Mental Health Help

LGBTQ+ Teens: Mental Health Help

LGBTQ+ Teens: Mental Health Help

There are many mental health resources available for LGBTQ+ teens. It is essential to create positive environments to help all youth thrive. But, the health needs of LGBTQ+ Youth are much different from their straight and cisgender peers. Every young person needs a safe home and social support to develop the skills for transitioning into adulthood. When LGBTQ+ youth have affirming families and friends, they have better mental health outcomes. This article will provide various resources for LGBTQ+ youth, friends, allies, educators, parents, and family members.

*This article contains the use of gendered language throughout the article as indicated in the research. 

What are Some Issues Facing LGBTQ+ Youth Today? 

Public Acceptance 

Public acceptance of LGBTQ+ identities has increased in dozens of countries worldwide since 1980. Since 2012, the year marriage equality came into law, the amount of American adults identifying as LGBTQ+ has increased from 3.5% to 4.5%. The reason there has been more acceptance may be due to the following: 79% of Americans support equal legal rights for LGBTQ+ people. However, in 2006, only 51% of Americans said that LGBTQ+ people should be accepted.

Familial Acceptance 

LGBTQ+ youth won’t always be accepted by their families. For example, 32% of Americans still say they would be uncomfortable having an LGBTQ_ family member, 36% would not be comfortable seeing a queer couple holding hands, and 37% would not be okay with their child having a lesson on LGBTQ+ history in school. 

Bullying and Violence 

LGBTQ+ youth are at a higher risk for homelessness, bullying, and interpersonal violence. In addition, LGBTQ+ youth are twice as likely to be bullied than their straight and cisgender peers, and 18% of LGBTQ+ youth (over triple than their straight and cisgender peers) — have experienced sexual assault or rape

Women of all sexual orientations encounter incredibly high degrees of sexual violence, and bisexual girls are at a higher risk. These sexually violent encounters occur before the age of 17 for half of them. Due to family stigma, LGBTQ+ youth have a 120% higher risk of homelessness than straight and cisgender teens.

Higher Risk for Mental Illness

LGBTQ+ youth have an increased risk of mental illness, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. In addition, 30% of LGBTQ+ teens have attempted suicide, compared to 10% of their straight and cisgender peers. Transgender youth face a high stigma and suffer more significant mental health risks. For example, 49% of transfeminine people (people assigned male at birth who identify as feminine) and 62% of transmasculine people (people assigned female at birth who identify as masculine) suffer from depression.

What are Some Ways LGBTQ+ Youth Can Get Help?

Resources for LGBTQ+ Youth and Educators

Since many LGBTQ+ youth are more likely than their cisgender and heterosexual peers to encounter bullying or other forms of violence in school, educators, counselors, and school administrators must have access to resources and support to form a safe learning environment for every student.

Here are some resources LGBTQ+ youth and educators can access:

Resources for Families of LGBTQ+ Teens

Coming Out: Information for Parents of LGBT Teens

The Family Acceptance Project ®

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health

LGBT Youth Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

PFLAG Connects: Communities

Tips for Parents of LGBTQ Youth

Sanders & Lamont Fields

Johns Hopkins Medical

Tips for Raising an LGBTQ+ Foster or Adopted Child(opens in new window)

Resources for Families of Transgender Youth

Advocacy and Support Organizations for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Communities

Family Support: Resources for Families of Transgender and Gender Diverse Children

Movement Advancement Project

Gender-Diverse and Transgender Children


Gender Health Services: Resources for Parents and Families

University of Rochester, University Counseling Center

Our Trans Loved Ones


Transgender Law Center

How Does LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy Help?

If you are a youth looking to talk to an experienced mental health professional about your LGBTQ+ identity, many affirming therapists can help. An affirming LGBTQ+ therapist can help with whatever issue or challenges you are facing and provide you with an empathetic and safe environment, as well as any tools.

Are you looking for an LGBTQ+ affirmative therapist? Find one today at LGBTQ and All.

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