In Australia, 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness in their lifetime. However, for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer or asexual (LGBTIQA), that number is more than double.
With this in mind, we at Ok To Talk have created a free psychologist-matching service specifically for people in the LGBTIQA+ community. Rainbow Connect takes into account the unique needs and experiences of this community of people and seeks to find reputable psychologists who can help. It’s simple; we all deserve to be happy and healthy, regardless of who we are.
Here’s why LGBTIQA+ people are more at-risk of mental illness and how you can use Rainbow Connect to find help that really works.
Mental illness in the LGBTIQA+ community
- LGBTIQA+ people between the ages of 16-27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide.
- Transgender people aged 18 and over are 11 times more likely to attempt suicide.
- LGBTIQA+ young people are twice as likely to self-harm.
- LGBTIQA+ people are over 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety in their lifetime.
- LGBTIQA+ people are nearly 6 times more likely to be diagnosed with depression in their lifetime.
What makes this community more at-risk of mental illness?
Although attitudes towards LGBTIQA+ people are improving, the problem of mental illness in this community is often exacerbated by many social issues. First of all, experiences such as discrimination, bullying and abuse can occur everywhere from school to workplaces and at home, making it difficult for some people to find a safe space. On top of this, experiencing indirect judgement and discrimination via the media and political policies can make LGBTIQA+ people feel alone and isolated.
For many people in this community, these lived experiences lead to mental illness such as anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, without the right support, many people turn to substance abuse, self-harm and even suicide.
What stops LGBTIQA+ people from seeking help?
Seeking mental health help is tough for a lot of people, regardless of sexuality. However, for LGBTIQA+ people, fear of discrimination, feelings of shame, and difficulty understanding their identity can make the process harder. Simply put, many people don’t seek help for fear of being blamed for their own mental health problems.
For someone who regularly faces discrimination over their gender identity or sexuality, it can be daunting to open up to a GP or psychologist. Many people fear of being misunderstood, judged or even not being able to find someone who understands the unique experiences of LGBTIQA+ people. As a result, this makes the process of finding help and overcoming mental illness that much harder.
How we can find you an LGBTIQA+ friendly psychologist
Professional mental health help should be easily accessible for everyone, regardless of who you are or who you love. For this reason, we’ve created a specialised LGBTIQA+ psychologist-matching service for Australians within this community. It’s called Rainbow Connect, and it helps you find trusted and accredited psychologists with experience helping people who have gone through similar struggles.
To use our free online service, all you have to do is answer a few questions about your location, budget and what you’re dealing with. From here, we match you with a great psychologist who is suited to your particular needs. Easy, right?