Most LGBTQ+-friendly life in Bulgaria happens in Sofia. However, outside any major city in Bulgaria, anything regarding LGBTQ+ issues is taboo, not as welcoming, and can be controversial. As a result, accurate information and data are unavailable due to the unwillingness of individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ since they want to avoid public persecution, discrimination, or harassment.
However, in December 2018, billboards encouraging tolerance towards same-sex couples were displayed in several Bulgarian cities. Unfortunately, these billboards were vandalized in Varna and Bourgas.
According to a survey from UNICEF Bulgaria in 2020, Bulgarian teenagers reported feeling higher levels of emotional distress due to the pandemic. In addition, these young people did not seek professional help. They were resistant to receiving treatment due to avoiding adverse emotional experiences (63%) or not knowing where to find help (17%). Instead, many youths cope by ignoring their experiences (41%) or doing something dangerous or harmful to their health (33%).
Unfortunately, 1 in 5 deaths for 15 to 19-year-olds in the EU is due to intentional self-harm. In addition, suicide is the second-highest cause of death for European youth of the same age group. Moreover, 9 million adolescents ages 10 to 19 in Europe also live with a mental disorder, as reported by UNICEF, The State of the World’s Children 2021. For Bulgaria, 11% of children ages 10 to 19 are diagnosed with a mental health condition.
If you seek mental health treatment and don’t know where to start, our resources at LGBTQ and ALL can help. We have compiled a list of the top mental health professionals in Sofia and a database of psychologists for kids.
Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria, a Balkan nation. It’s located in the west part of the country, below Vitosha Mountain. What draws visitors and locals to Sofia is the city’s stunning landmarks with a history over 2,000 years.
In addition, there is the Medieval Boyana Church with 13th-century frescoes. There is also the St. George Rotunda Church, which was built by the Romans during the 4th century. This site features medieval and Ottoman designs tracing back to the 10th century.
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