Emotional and mental stability are crucial demands of being queer in today’s world. Having to keep a constant lookout for the homophobes and transphobes can affect your mental health. As soon as a member of the LGBTQ+ takes a step outside their private space, they have to ensure that their behaviour and responses don’t land them in trouble. This form of self-disciplining weighs on your emotional and mental health. Society already imposes so many restrictions on individual performance. And as a member of the LGBTQ+, it’s another boundary within those boundaries.
It is therefore very important to understand your own emotions and learn to manage them. A therapist is always a good idea. But if you can use a set of skills that can help you help yourself is always a plus. Let me remind you, that this article is not limited to LGBTQ+, it is extended to all those allies who believe that the world has to become a safer space for the LGBTQ+.
But can you really make all spaces safe for the LGBTQ+?
Yes, you can help create a safe atmosphere everywhere. Since, the safe space starts with you. As an individual, and as an ally, your support counts. All you have to do is let people know that you are an ally who is willing to help and hear out. A small step from your side can result in the overall atmosphere and increase safety. So, you carry your atmosphere wherever you go, which means, everywhere you go, you have the power to make the difference.
Thus, managing mental health through emotion management that is specific to LGBTQ+ should be learnt by the members as well as the allies. This will help you send out signals and respond properly in any situation. Be it school, bank, or the beach.
Here is an article from U Lifeline, that specifically talks about college mental health for LGBTQ+ students. This is important. Please read.
Insight into the daily challenges facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender college students.
Learning to be yourself and dealing with other people’s perception of you can be hard for anyone. This process can be especially stressful or tough for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). In fact, they can face unique issues when it comes to mental health. The discrimination LGBT students may face or the pressure they feel from their family or community, can put them at greater risk for emotional health struggles like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even suicide.
If you or someone you know is struggling with issues related to sexuality or pressures of not being accepted by family, friends or community, it’s important to speak up. By developing strong coping skills, creating a positive social network, and seeking help if needed, LGBT students can protect their emotional health during college and beyond.
LGBT individuals who are dealing with mental health conditions like depression may have to contend with even more stigma because of discrimination or misunderstandings related to their sexual orientation. Having to deal with the additional stigma can worsen mental health conditions. Here are some tips for overcoming stigma:
• Surround yourself with supportive people. Check to see if your campus has groups for LGBT students. It’s a great way to find people who can relate to what you’re going through.
• Seek help. If you’re experiencing sadness, anxiety or stress that is interfering with your ability to get things done and live a fulfilling life, make an appointment with a mental health counselor on campus. It’s the first step toward feeling better.
• Remember it has nothing to do with you. Society creates and perpetuates stigma about many groups. Remember that others’ reactions to your sexual identity or orientation are not your fault, and say nothing about the person you are.
• Join an advocacy group. To further fight stigma, it might help you to participate in a mental health or LGBT advocacy group on campus.
Helping Your Friend
If you have a friend who’s told you about their sexual orientation and/or emotional health struggles, there are various ways you can support them. Here are some suggestions.
• Listen and empathize. You might experience a variety of emotions — like confusion, surprise, and sadness —when finding out about a friend’s sexual orientation or emotional health issues. This is to be expected. They are normal responses. When talking to them, don’t interrupt and remain open to what they’re saying. Avoid judging them, and try to put yourself in their shoes.
• Get educated. Learn more about mental illness and the concerns that LGBT individuals might have. This helps you better understand what your friend is going through and know how to help them.
• Challenge the stigma. Try not to make derogatory comments about LGBT individuals. Even jokes just further stereotypes and stigma. And speak up when others make comments or jokes.
ARTCILE SOURCED FROM http://www.ulifeline.org/articles/428-emotional-challenges-faced-by-lgbt-students