Identity is a combination of physical and behavioral traits that help us define who we are. Specific identity characteristics help define us as uniquely identifiable individuals, while others determine how we fit into our communities and society. Social acceptance plays a vital role in overall well-being. Identifying as different or unaccepted for who you are is a significant risk factor for poor mental health. Sexual orientation and gender identity are critical components of overall identity. Many who identify as LGBTQ+ feel unaccepted for their authentic selves, resulting in higher rates of mental health issues than their heterosexual and cisgender peers.
Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health disorders in America. At Harmony Hills, we recognize the need for inclusive mental health care for all. Our mental health treatment center offers comprehensive care catered to the unique needs of LGBTQ+ individuals and their families. Call 855.494.0357 to discover how we can help you or your loved one.
The Need for Mental Health Treatment for the LGBTQ+ Community
The need for mental health treatment for the LGBTQ+ community is glaringly evident. Adults who identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience mental health challenges. Rates of mental health conditions in transgender individuals are four times higher than in cisgender people.
The LGBTQ+ community has historically faced challenges getting the healthcare they need without judgment or bias. Many who identify as LGBTQ have experienced discrimination publically, in their relationships, or both. They face obstacles based on their gender identity or sexual orientation that their heterosexual and cisgender peers often cannot understand, such as:
- Prejudice and stigma
- Exclusion from social groups and activities
- Rejection from family and friends
- Physical, psychological, and sexual abuse
- Public humiliation, threats to safety, and hate crimes
- Employment and housing loss
- Internalized self-hatred
- Isolation and loneliness
- Having to deny or hide their true identity
These factors contribute to higher rates of mental health and substance use disorders within the LGBTQ+ community. Recognizing these issues and understanding how to account for them in mental health treatment programs is essential to providing a safe, comfortable environment for LGBTQ+ clients to overcome their symptoms, heal, and grow.
The Link Between Trauma and LGBTQ+ Mental Health
Trauma is a deeply disturbing or distressing experience threatening a person’s sense of safety and well-being. Trauma is commonly associated with a specific incident or experience. However, for members of the LGBTQ+ community, trauma can look much different and is usually the result of ongoing experiences rather than an isolated event.
Frequently reported sources of trauma among the LGBTQ+ community include:
- Being the target of hate crimes or public humiliation
- Being disowned by family or rejected by friends
- Social stigmatization
- Discrimination and prejudice
- Being the victim of physical, mental, or sexual abuse
- Denial of fundamental civil and human rights
As a result of trauma, those who identify as LGBTQ+ will often hide or suppress their true identity and develop internalized homophobia, contributing to ongoing trauma.
Over time untreated trauma leads to mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm, and PTSD. Isolation and withdrawal to avoid being confronted with harassment, ridicule, or rejection compound mental health symptoms. Many individuals turn to drugs, alcohol, or both to relieve their psychological and emotional distress, resulting in various substance use disorders.
Discover LGBTQ+ Mental Health Treatment at Harmony Hills
At Harmony Hills, we know that each person who comes through is unique in their makeup and experiences. We take the time needed to get to know each of our clients and their goals for treatment to create a treatment plan best suited to their needs.
We utilize evidence-based and holistic treatment modalities for healing the mind, body, and soul, all damaged by trauma, poor mental health, and co-occurring substance use disorders. Discover true healing in our inclusive LGBTQ+ programs. Contact us or call us at 855.494.0357 to learn more.