The LGBTIQ+ community is rich and diverse, and includes subgroups based on ethnic background, age, income, education, disability, gender, or gender identity. Sadly, because of their gender identity, or sexual orientation, people in the LGBTIQ+ community continue to face problems related to ongoing discrimination in their personal lives, workplace, and the public sphere.
Individuals who identify as transgender, people of ethnic minority backgrounds, and disabled individuals tend to experience higher incidents of discrimination, and often LGBTIQ+ people will try to avoid unequal treatment by altering their lives (for example, hiding a personal relationship, or not being able to come out).
This is because discrimination often leads to a harmful impact on life prospects, relating to employment and economic status, access to health care, and hate crimes. Such issues, along with feelings related to social isolation, rejection, and exclusion can impact mental health, causing depression, anxiety, trauma, or other mental health problems.
LGBTIQ+ issues can impact individuals’ self-esteem, which relates to how one perceives and values oneself. It is perhaps not surprising that issues of self-esteem arise when people experience lack of acceptance and discrimination.
Self-harm is an issue faced by many in the LGBTIQ+ community. One in eight LGBTIQ+ people between the ages of 18 to 24 have made an attempt to end their lives. And almost half of trans people have reported suicidal thoughts.
Research suggests that substance misuse incidents may be higher in the LGBTIQ+ community due to the stressors faced.
The causes of the problems faced by the LGBTIQ+ community are not due to them being LGBTIQ+, rather they are due to the poor treatment of LGBTIQ+ people from others and the impact of these problems for individuals’ mental health and wellbeing.
Some examples of poor treatment include: homophobia, transphobia, discrimination, lack of acceptance, social isolation, hate crimes, and lack of access to health care.
Phinity are aware that individuals within the LGBTIQ+ community are at greater risk for many reasons, and that they may face additional challenges around accessing support. We therefore aim to provide a safe and accepting space in which individuals are able to openly explore the issues they are faced with.
This might include explorative work to help you make sense of issues surrounding your sexual orientation, or gender identity, or resolving feelings around poor treatment and discrimination.
Or, you may have other goals, for example, you may wish to build confidence and resilience, achieve a sense of community and belonging, work toward self-acceptance and freedom of self-expression. Whatever your aims for therapy are, will will work with you to achieve your goals.
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