It’s Gay Pride Season: Time to Reflect on Identity and Health

June is Pride month, though we see actual celebrations of the queer community from Spring through Autumn. The community comes together to reflect on the impact queer  people have had in society and to acknowledge the contributions made to realize full equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Non-Binary, Intersex, and others who so identify with  LGBTQIA+ peoples and their allies. This sense of common cause and identity helps  remind our families and caregivers that their support and acceptance of loved one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression directly impacts their mental wellness and personal safety.

Statistics relevant to the mental and physical health of the LGBTQIA+ community are staggering and sobering. Health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of civil and human rights are associated with high rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide. When compared to their straight, counterparts, queer individuals are three times more likely to experience a mental health condition, and youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide, experience suicidal thoughts, and engage in self-harm. Additionally, individuals often face a discrimination that makes access quality treatment even more difficult.

With the help of supportive families, communities, and peers, most LGBTQIA+ individuals are incredibly resilient and lead fulfilling lives even in the face adversity and discrimination. When we consider that approximately 5% to 6% of US adults identify as and acknowledge belonging to this group (not to mention many closeted and uncertain individuals), you can well imagine the impact this can have on society. The pressures of simply living one’s truth are affected by everything from religion to politics, job markets to family, as well as regional and cultural factors.
AMR Therapy considers its service to the queer community to be a top priority. Its staff includes members of the larger queer community and has extensive experience in dealing with the issues faced by all people who self-identify with the LGBTQIA+ population. There is help—effective and proven help—to assist you in navigating the waters of our society. Our health and joy are within our control: just reach out and take it!