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Mental health resources for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people (LGBTI)

If you’re part of the lesbian gay, bi, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and struggling with your mental health, you’re not alone.

Life can be challenging, with all the complexities of work, relationships, friendships, finance and families. Staying mentally strong is not always easy.

Fortunately, there are many people and organisations who can provide you with advice and support.

Your mental health is important

Your mental health is all about your state of mind. If it’s good, you feel confident and able to deal with the day-to-day challenges that life can pose. But if your mental health is not so good, life can sometimes seem difficult.

As with your physical health, mental health issues need to be addressed, and the sooner the better. So if you’re struggling, the best thing to do is seek help. (See ‘Where to get help’)

LGBTI communities and common mental health issues

You may have to deal with difficult issues relating to work, to relationships, to finances, housing and everything else. On top of that, you may face issues relating specifically to sexuality such as:

  • homophobic or transphobic attitudes from others
  • your own internalised phobias or self-image
  • trauma from bullying, abuse or alienated from your family and friends
  • stress that builds up as a result of feeling different, or from being on your guard the whole time.

You may feel comfortable to define your sexuality, be that gay, straight, transgendered, bi-sexual, or something else. You might find it takes time to fully understand your own sexuality. Going through that process can be difficult and uncertain. There may be times when you feel alone, or feel as if nobody will understand or accept you.

If you feel like that, you are not alone. There are many people in the lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community in Australia. There are also some great organisations out there that support and represent members of the LGBTI community who have mental health issues.

Where to get help

If you need someone to talk to, or want to find out more, these organisations can help you. Many have specific support for people who are LGBTI.

  • Out & Online (ages 18-25) – online help for same-gender attracted youth
  • QLife (counselling and referral service for LGBTI people) – call 1800 184 527 or chat online
  • beyondblue (for anyone feeling depressed or anxious) – call 1300 22 4636 or chat online
  • headspace (mental health service for ages 12-25) – call 1800 650 890 or chat online
  • ReachOut.com (youth mental health service) – visit the website for info or use the online forum.
  • Lifeline (support for anyone having a personal crisis) – call 13 11 14 or chat online
  • Suicide Call Back Service (for anyone thinking about suicide) – call 1300 659 467

You may also be interested in visiting these sites:

  • ACON – for LGBTI health and HIV prevention and support
  • PFLAG – Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

 

Last reviewed: August 2015

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