Embracing your identity can have a hugely positive impact, leading to increased confidence, improved relationships, a sense of community and increased resilience. However, sometimes it takes some support to get there.
LGBT+ History Month throughout February, is a time to remember and celebrate the historic milestones of the struggles faced by the LGBT+ community’s movement for civil rights. These events have included moments such as the UK decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967, the Stonewall Riots in 1969, and more recently Britain’s legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2014.
This time is used to celebrate the progress that has already been made and to remember the challenges that are still faced by so many of the LGBT+ community.
Research by Stonewall UK shows us that members of the LGBT+ community experience significantly higher rates of inequality and discrimination. Stonewall UK’s study show only half of the UK’s LGBT+ population feel able to be open about their sexual orientation and gender identity with all of their family.
Josef Landsberg, Deputy Clinical Lead for Healthy Minds, commented. ‘Depending on your experiences growing up as a person belonging to this group, may result in unhelpful views about yourself, the world or how others view you. You are not sick, but somehow you might end up feeling “abnormal” or “different”, making it hard to relate to some of the more dominant societal norms which could lead to isolation and loneliness. Having a representative workforce in the NHS is one of the ways in which we try and make it easier for the LBGT community to reach out to us for help.’
Because of the day-to-day difficulties faced by the LGBT+ community, rates of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and many other mental health difficulties are disproportionately high; but being LGBT+ is not the cause of these problems.
TalkingSpace Plus (Oxfordshire) have staff who are trained to understand the needs of LGBT+ people and provide support for everyone in this community with any emotional distress.
Anyone in the LGBT+ community feeling low can get mental health support. If you GP is in Oxfordshire you can self refer by visiting TalkingSpace Plus or calling 01865 901 222