If you’re part of the lesbian gay, bi, transgender, queer, intersex or asexual (LGBTQIA+) community and find yourself struggling with your mental health, you are not alone.
We recognise that the LGBTQIA+ community has unique challenges when it comes to emotional wellbeing. The external factors that you may face, such as discrimination, challenging relationships and projection, can have acute impacts on a person’s health and wellbeing.
The prejudice experienced by LGBTQIA+ people adds an additional layer of risk on top of the social, environmental, and psychological factors which can lead to anxiety and depression.
Contributing factors, ongoing challenges
Despite there being an increasing acceptance of LGBTQIA+ people in Australia, many people still face bullying, discrimination and harassment in their day to day lives.
Discrimination can take the form of:
- obvious acts of prejudice and discrimination (e.g. someone who is open about being transgender being refused employment or promotion)
- more subtle, but no less harmful, discrimination that reinforces negative stereotypes and feelings of difference (e.g. use of the word ‘gay’ as a derogatory term).
Unfortunately, discrimination in the workplace still affects LGBTQIA+ people – despite this having been made completely illegal across Australia in 2013. In fact, 1 in 10 LGBTQIA+ employees reported quitting their job after they were made to feel unwelcome, while nearly half of those surveyed tried to keep their sexual orientation a secret in the workplace due to fear of discrimination.
For many LGBTQIA+ people, there can also be great challenges within their own families and social circles. For some individuals, it can be very difficult to contend with the reactions and opinions of their loved ones. This can add to feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety.
Support is available
At Wise Institute, we have clinicians who specialise in supporting the emotional wellbeing of anyone who is processing thoughts around, or exploring, their sexual identity. Whether you are finding a new sense of self or managing relationship strains that may surface as you become more open with your identity, we can offer a non-discriminating environment to explore any issues that may arise.