LGBTQ Mental Health

Some of us identify ourselves as LGBTQ, which means we may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning – or we may define our gender and sexuality in other ways.

LGBTQ people can be at a higher risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the wider population. If you are LGBTQ and have experienced mental health issues, you are not alone. You might find you experience:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • suicidal feelings

The reasons for this are complex and not yet fully understood. However, mental health problems experienced by LGBTQ people have been linked to:

  • discrimination
  • bullying
  • homophobia, biphobia or transphobia

You might also experience rejection, negative reactions or hostility from family members, friends, strangers, employers or members of the religious community. This can have a big impact on your self-esteem and mean you might feel unable to be open about your sexual or gender identity at work, at home or in the world at large.

Alcohol and drug use

As an LGBTQ person you might also be more likely to use drugs and alcohol, for a variety of reasons. You can find out more information and what support may be available in our pages about the mental health effects of street drugs. You can also access confidential advice about drugs and alcohol on the FRANK website.

Talking about these issues and seeking support are important ways that you can manage your mental health. Here are some first steps:

  • See our pages on seeking help for a mental health problem for more information on how to get support.
  • Hear more stories from LGBTQ people talking about their mental health here.
  • Try out peer support. Mind runs an online peer support community called Elefriends that welcomes LGBTQ people and offers a friendly, non-judgemental space to talk about how you feel.
  • See our page of useful contacts for details of national organisations who offer mental health advice, support and services to LGBTQ people, including helplines.