For the past few years, I’ve researched data and statistics surrounding mental health in the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month. I think it’s important to understand what mental health challenges exist for unique communities and groups of people, and these statistics help paint that picture. Every year, statistics show that the LGBTQIA+ community disproportionately at risk for mental health challenges, mental illness and suicide. Here are a few examples.
According to the Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2023:
41% of LGBTQ young people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year—and young people who are transgender, nonbinary, and/or people of color reported higher rates than their peers.
14% of LGBTQ young people attempted suicide in the past year
67% of LGBTQ young people reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety
54% of LGBTQ young people reported experiencing symptoms of depression
56% of LGBTQ young people who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it, including nearly 3 in 5 transgender and nonbinary young people and more than 2 in 5 cisgender young people.
Nearly 1 in 3 LGBTQ young people said their mental health was poor most of the time or always due to anti-LGBTQ policies and legislation.
Transgender and nonbinary young people who reported that all of the people they live with respect their pronouns reported lower rates of attempting suicide.
From the National Alliance on Mental Illness:
The annual prevalence of mental illness among Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual Adults in the U.S. is 50.2%, more than 15 percent higher than the next closest demographic.
The annual treatment rates among Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual Adults in the U.S. adults is 55.6%
Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are nearly 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth
Transgender adults are nearly 9x more likely to attempt suicide at some point in their lifetime compared to the general population
From Mental Health America:
Nearly 60% of LGBTQ+ adults are experiencing mental health challenges today.
LGBTQ+ adults are three times as likely to experience a mental health disorder than individuals who identify as straight
40% of all transgender adults report they have attempted suicide in their lifetime compared to less than 5% of the overall US population
The bisexual and transgender communities specifically have the highest rates of mental health challenges within the LGBTQ+ population.
These numbers paint a very clear picture. Not only do those in the LGBTQIA+ community disproportionately deal with mental illness and thoughts of suicide, anti-LGBTQIA+ policies and legislation play a big factor in this. Let’s be clear: you can’t claim to care about the well-being of any group of people while simultaneously opting for policies that harm them. When people are treated with love, care and respect, their mental health will be positively impacted.
People deserve to be the unique, wonderful versions of themselves. They deserve love and understanding, and a reminder that they matter. So wherever you are on your mental health journey, or any other journey you may be on with your identity, please know there are people out there who love you and will fight for you. Happy Pride Month