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Behavioral Health and the LGBTQ+ Community

Pride Month is an annual celebration in June that recognizes and honors the LGBTQ+ community. It’s a time for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies to come together, raise awareness, and promote equality, acceptance, and self-affirmation. It originated from the commemoration of the Stonewall riots in June 1969, which were a significant catalyst for the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

Tillamook Family Counseling Center recognizes Pride Month as an opportunity to shed light on the behavioral and mental health challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, and acknowledge our collective work to provide affirmative, inclusive, and respectful services for all members of our community.

Many members of the LGBTQ+ community experience higher rates of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to societal stigma, discrimination, and the stress of living in unsupportive environments. By acknowledging these challenges, Pride Month encourages conversations about behavioral health and promotes access to resources and support. Keep reading for various ways to be an ally and support the mental health of the LGBTQ+ community:

  • Educate Yourself: Take the time to educate yourself about the experiences, challenges,  and mental health issues that LGBTQ+ individuals may face. Understanding their unique struggles will help you be more empathetic and informed. One place to begin is learning more about pronouns.
  • Promote Acceptance and Inclusion: Advocate for acceptance and inclusion by challenging stereotypes, prejudices, and discriminatory behavior when you encounter them.
  • Listen and Validate: If someone reaches out to you to discuss their mental health, listen without interruption or judgment. Let them know you are there to support them and encourage them to seek professional help if needed.
  • Offer Support and Resources: Provide information about mental health resources locally or available online.

It is important to recognize that mental health challenges can affect anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. However, by acknowledging and addressing the unique struggles faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive environment, ultimately benefiting the mental health and well-being of everyone. 

Additional Resources:

Education on LGBTQ+ Communities & Mental Health:

Mental Health/Crisis Resources: