LGBTQ Young People & Mental Health

There is now general agreement that mental health issues among gay and lesbian
young people stem from multiple sources.
 For some, the struggles with mental health stem from genetics, in the same
way that is true for non-gay young people
 For some, the struggles with mental health stem from childhood history of
abuse and/or neglect, in the same way that is true for non-gay young people
 For others, the struggles stem not from family history or experience, but
from lack of acceptance by others that cause them added stress and lead to
risky behavior or mental health issues (Society for Adolescent Health and
Medicine, April 2013).
 LGBT young people may be bullied or victimized more than other
adolescents, which can lead to greater risk of depression or suicide. Bullying
and victimization has also been linked to nightmares, post-traumatic stress
disorder, and substance abuse
 Gay and lesbian kids can be happy and healthy dealing with the normal
things adolescents deal with. Bu they are also a group that, because of
pressures from society, face a number of challenges and risks other teens
don’t. Staff then have additional responsibility to support these teens to help
them achieve self-acceptance and healthy development
 Family acceptance- or rejection- of LGBT adolescents can make a
significant difference in their health and well-being outcomes (Family
Acceptance Project).