7 Mental Health Resources for LGBTQ Teens
LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning, which are terms used to describe an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Further, young people that identify as non-heterosexual or non-cisgender may consider themselves members of the LGBTQ community. Though the federal government has taken steps (e.g., Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) to actively protect LGBTQ community members against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/ or sexual orientation, the deeply engrained stigma lingers. Teenagers that identify as LGBTQ are often subject to hate crimes (e.g., physical and/ or emotional abuse, threats, public humiliation, etc.), sexual orientation discrimination, and/ or rejection from loved ones. The Human Rights Campaign asserts that LGBTQ youth are more likely to face bullying, interpersonal violence, and have a 120% higher risk of homelessness than those that identify as cisgender, heterosexual teens. Members of the LGBTQ community are also at increased risk of developing mental illness. Below are seven mental health resources that are available and easily accessible to LGBTQ teens:
- Talkspace for Teens: offers access to queer-sensitive therapy for young people between ages 13 to 17. It provides mental health services and assistance to those in need by licensed mental health providers, specifically for the challenges faced by LGBT youth.
- The Trevor Project: (1-866-488-7386): The Trevor Project was founded in 1998 and is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people, under age 25.
- LGBT National Youth Talkline: (1-800-246-7743): offers free and confidential peer support for the LGBTQ and questioning community ages 25 and younger.
- Love Is Respect: (1-866-331-9474): This organization offers confidential support for young people experiencing dating violence and has resources for LGBTQ young people to learn about healthy relationships.
- National Runaway Safeline: (1-800-RUNAWAY): offers help locating shelter to all youth who feel unsafe at home, are considering running away from home, or have run away. The Safeline can be reached by phone or text anytime, 24/7 to teens that are being bullied, abused, need help to find shelter, or simply need to talk.
- Psychology Today has compiled a list of qualified mental health professionals with experience in providing services to members of the LGBTQ community in Los Angeles for those in need of counseling.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline: (1-800-950-NAMI): offers a daily hotline to LGBTQ teens where they can call to discuss mental health concerns and aid in finding local resources, on weekdays.
Learning additional coping mechanisms, conflict resolution tactics, and effective means for integrating experiences can behoove any person. More so, tapping into the array of resources available that are free of judgment and inclusive of all can be helpful in enriching a young person’s social and emotional growth and development.
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Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, the long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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