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In June, we proudly celebrate Pride Month. Pride Month is about acceptance, equality and celebrating LGBTQIA+ people. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness about LGBTQIA+ history and educate the general public about LGBTQIA+ topics.

Whilst many will attend a parade or celebrate with their loved ones, some experiences of Pride Month can bring about feelings of anxiety and low mood. Being LGBTQIA+ does not cause mental health problems. But LGBTQIA+ may experience homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, stigma and discrimination, social isolation, rejection and exclusion. However, this list is not limiting of the experience LGBTQIA+ people face. There may be other factors that impact an LGBTQIA+ person’s mental health and wellbeing.

The role of a good support network can help improve anyone’s self-esteem, confidence and overall wellbeing. This is especially true for an LGBTQIA+ person who may be experiencing extra challenges.

The content below is written to help you to support an LGBTQIA+ person with mental health challenges.

Here is how you can support someone who is LGBTQIA+

Avoid making assumptions

Everyone’s experiences and identity journeys are unique to their personal situation. Rather than assuming all LGBTQIA+ people experience the same challenges, ask how they are doing and explore resources to support them.

For example, you can use open questions such as “How can I best support you at this time”, “I see that you are struggling at the moment, would you like to talk to me about anything?”.

You can also explore different charities, support groups, and services that offer specialized LGBTQIA+ mental health and wellbeing support. For example, the LGBT Foundation website has a glossary of service providers that can provide additional support for LGBTQIA+ children, adolescents and adults.

Stay Informed

Keep up to date with current affairs, legislation and cultural movements that may impact an LGBTQIA+ person.

For example, the Equality Act 2010 protects LGBTQIA+ people from sexual orientation discrimination. Not only this but it expects organisations to actively work against discrimination, , fostering good relations between people with the different protected characteristics and actively promoting equality of opportunity.

Adjustments can be requested under the Equality Act 2010 to make schools, workplaces and other organisations more inclusive. For example, regular inclusivity and diversity training, gender neutral facilities, robust inclusivity and diversity policies and anti-bullying policies are good indicators that an establishment is adhering to Equality Act 2010 legislation.


Someone who has struggled with their sexual and/or gender identity may have encountered some difficult and distressing emotions, thoughts and behaviours. It is important to create a safe and supportive environment that allows them to share without fear of judgement.

Active listening is a great technique for making another person feel listened to and understood. To practice active listening, you should:

  • Face the speaker and maintain eye contact (without looking too intense)
  • Pay attention to the speaker’s body language
  • Try not to interrupt
  • Try not to jump to conclusions
  • Nod your head, smile and make small noises such as ‘yes’, ‘uh-huh’
  • Try not to impose your own opinions
  • Stay focused
  • Ask questions to show interest and to clarify your understanding
  • Summarise back to the speaker to check if you have understood correctly

Learn more about their specific problem

Once someone has opened up to you about a specific concern or problem they are having, you can look up information that can help you support them.

Common experiences that LGBTQIA+ people encounter include:

  • Targeted slurs, violence or harassment that relates to their sexuality
  • Feelings of isolation or fear of rejection
  • Inner conflict from juxtaposing religious or cultural beliefs about sexuality
  • Substance abuse
  • Anxiety disorders and low mood
  • Bullying at school

LGBTQIA+ people will experience other mental health and wellbeing difficulties, just as people who do not identify as part of this community do. It is important to not hold stereotypical views towards LGBTQIA+ people and understand that each problem is unique to that person’s story and journey so far.

Take care of yourself

Providing support to someone who is struggling can be stressful. Remember that your mental health and wellbeing needs are also important. Taking the time for yourself to practice mindfulness, managing stress and worry, as well as enjoying your usual hobbies, can help look after yourself.

To help ensure that you have time in your week to think about yourself, you can start time blocking in your diary. For example, you can decide that between 12pm-3pm on Sunday afternoons, you will take yourself to lunch with a friend, go on a long walk, or enjoy a coffee with a good book. The more you look after yourself, the better you can also look after the people around you.

If you are concerned for your own or someone’s mental health and wellbeing, we have a range of services that are available to support you. At Psymplicity, we have therapists who are LGBTQIA+ informed and trained to provide therapeutic support to people who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. For more information, please visit our website or call us on 02037335422.

Anna Tank

Anna Tank

Anna is an Assistant Psychologist specializing in CAMHS.

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Mavish S

Mavish S

Mavish is a BABCP Accredited CBT and EMDR Therapist and CBT Clinical Lead at Psymplicity. Since beginning undergraduate studies 13 years ago, Mavish has worked in various mental health settings within the charity, NHS and private sector. Mavish’s passion for learning and professional growth has led to a vastness of experience and accelerated growth in her career while delivering one-to-one therapy, group workshops, training and supervision for professionals and senior team management. Mavish is a keen writer and writes many of the articles on our website, as well of our self-help resources.

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