Making Mental Health a Priority During Pride Month

Mental Health Pride Month

Maureen Iselin


June 10, 2019

During the month of June each year, we join together with others to recognize Pride Month, a time to reflect on the impact lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people have had in the world. When it comes to the health and well being of the LGBTQ population, research suggests individuals who identify as LGBTQ face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of their civil and human rights. Discrimination against LGBTQ people has specifically been associated with high rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide.1

In fact, when compared to people that identify as straight, LGBTQ individuals are three times more likely to experience a mental health condition. More specifically, LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide, experience suicidal thoughts, and engage in self-harm, as compared to youth that identify as straight.2

So what can we all do to help prioritize mental health and well being for our LGBTQ friends and family? Become an ally and take steps to help normalize conversations about mental health and wellness. This can be as easy as asking someone ‘How are you doing today?’ and taking the time to really listen to their response. It’s also important to learn about mental health and LGBTQ resources that are available both locally and nationally.  These resources include:

As we come together this month to celebrate our LGBTQ friends and family, let’s all take steps today to help keep each other mentally and emotionally healthy. For more information about Mental Health America of the MidSouth, visit

[1] Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2016). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health. Retrieved from
[2] National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2016). LGBTQ. Retrieved from

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