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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(opens in new window)

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