Author: Aimee Copp-Hasty
June is celebrated as LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Pride Month. Being LGBTQ+ is not a mental health condition. While there is much to celebrate this month, unfortunately, many members of this community still experience mental health struggles at higher rates than their straight and cisgender peers. LGBTQ+ individuals face stigma based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Discrimination against the community stems from lack of education, people’s religious beliefs, and misinformation through society. It is crucial to start changing the stigma. We can all take action to offer support, acceptance, and affirmation towards the LGBTQ+ community.
Here are a few ways to support and be an ally for the LGBTQ+ community:
- Provide a safe environment for individuals if they would like to open up to you.
- Use the correct language. If you are unsure, it is okay to ask directly. Ask about their preferred pronouns and use those when in writing, when speaking to them, and when referring to them.
- Respect boundaries. Ask open-ended questions and then listen to what they are saying. It is important to be genuine and curious about someone’s life without being invasive.
- Advocate for legislation to protect the rights for the LGBTQ+ community
- Educate yourself on mental health resources that you can offer to them.
If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health challenges, reach out for professional help.
Valeo’s Crisis Center is located at 400 SW Oakley Avenue. Valeo’s Crisis Center never closes, it is a walk-in emergency clinic with no appointment necessary. Valeo’s 24-Hour Crisis Line is 785-234-3300