As we kick off Pride Month at Hanna, we are excited to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community. But at the same time, we are well-aware of just how difficult the struggle can be for so many — especially LGBTQ+ youth.
- 45% of LGBTQ+ youth have seriously considered suicide.*
- 30% of LGBTQ+ youth have attempted suicide.*
- LGBTQ+ youth are twice as likely to experience depression as their cisgender, heterosexual peers.**
So as we celebrate Pride, let’s also do what we can to support the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth.
Education and Awareness
Promoting education and awareness about LGBTQ+ issues is a crucial step toward supporting the mental well-being of our youth. There are so many opportunities here — from integrating comprehensive sexual education curricula to creating safe spaces in schools, colleges, and community centers. When we foster understanding, empathy, and acceptance among their peers, and LGBTQ+ youth can freely express themselves without fear of discrimination, we’ll know we’re making real progress.
Accessible Mental Health Services
We need to provide and promote culturally competent mental health professionals who understand the unique challenges and experiences faced by LGBTQ+ individuals. Establishing counseling services, support groups, and helplines specifically tailored to LGBTQ+ youth can create safe and inclusive spaces where they can seek guidance and support. Collaborations between mental health organizations and LGBTQ+ community centers can help bridge gaps in service provision.
We need strong, supportive networks to help LGBTQ+ youth navigate their mental health journeys. Encouraging the establishment of LGBTQ+ student organizations, community clubs, and online forums can create spaces for connection, peer support, and mentorship. Engaging with LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations can also make a huge impact — our recent partnership with The Trevor Project helped raise awareness of these issues on a broader scale.
And, of course, during Pride Month, showing up can be vital. Participating in Pride events can also foster a sense of belonging and provide platforms for visibility and empowerment.
You Can Help.
As a community, we have a collective responsibility to support the mental well-being of LGBTQ+ youth. And you, as an individual, can help. By acknowledging the disproportionate challenges they face — and by connecting with them to understand their personal struggles — you can join us in creating an inclusive and supportive environment.
Here at Hanna, the Community Mental Health Hub is working to provide mental health services and foster supportive networks for LGBTQ+ family, friends, and neighbors. If you know someone who needs to talk, connect, or access a safe space, please reach out. Together, we can build a future where every LGBTQ+ youth feels seen, valued, and supported.
Counseling at the Hub
If you or your loved ones could use the support of a licensed therapist, The Community Mental Health Hub at Hanna is here to help.
*Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health.
**National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI estimates that 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ youth experience depression, compared to 1 in 10 cisgender, heterosexual youth.