Counseling & Wellness Center

LGBT*Q+

LGBTQ individuals are almost 3 times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition such as major depression or generalized anxiety disorder.* Fear of coming out and being discriminated against for sexual orientation and gender identities can lead to depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, thoughts of suicide and substance abuse.

LGBTQ people may confront stigma and prejudice based on their sexual orientation or gender identity while also possibly dealing with the societal bias against mental health conditions. At these intersections, some individuals feel that they must hide their sexual orientation from those in the mental health system for fear of being ridiculed or rejected. Though not all people will face mental health challenges, discrimination or violence, many LGBTQ people report less mental well-being and satisfaction.

Minority Stress

Minority stress describes chronically high levels of stress faced by members of stigmatized minority groups. It may be caused by a number of factors, including poor social support and low socioeconomic status, but the most well understood causes of minority stress are interpersonal prejudice and discrimination.

Minority stress within the LGBTQ community stems from a variety of factors including social stigma, discrimination, prejudice, denial of civil and human rights, abuse, harassment, victimization, social exclusion and family rejection. This stress may lead to increased risk of mental health conditions, suicide, and substance misuse.*

*Statistics retrieved from The National Alliance on Mental Illness

Support and Resources

  • The Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling offers a list of resources for LGBT individuals and works to educate counseling professionals on LGBT issues.
  • The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists offers numerous funds for LGBT people who are experiencing mental health conditions, including a directory of LGBT-friendly therapists.
  • The Center for American Progress offers a variety of resources, including a report called Why the Gay and Transgender Population Experiences Higher Rates of Substance Use. (PDF)
  • The GLBT National Help Center provides multiple resources and access to a hotline and a youth chat line.
  • GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) provides an annual report called the National School Climate Survey, which reports on the experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth in U.S. schools.
  • The Pride Institute is an unlocked, LGBT-exclusive facility that offers a residential treatment program, including psychiatric care for depression, anxiety and other needs.
  • The Rainbow Access Initiative works to inform and educate health care providers on LGBTQ specific issues.
  • The Trevor Project is a multimedia support network for LGBTQ youth providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
  • Stonewall Alliance Center Chico: The Stonewall Alliance of Chico is committed to creating an accepting environment for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender,Transexual, 2Spirit, Intersex, Queer, Pansexual, Asexual, Questioning, and Ally (LGBT*QA+) community that is open, safe, and inclusive for all people. We provide information, advocacy, referrals, and support. The Stonewall Alliance Center strives to unite and strengthen individuals and the community through coordination of community events, activities, and discussions. For more information, visit 358 E 6th St, Chico, California or call at 530-893-3336.