Embracing Identity

Julie Derienzo, BS
June 30, 2023


Starting in 1999 and expanding to include the whole LGBTQ+ community in 2011, June has been known as “Pride Month”, which is a time to celebrate those who identify as LGBTQ+ and educate individuals on the mental health, history, and rights of that community. 4.5% of the U.S. population identifies as LGBTQ+ [1], and more than 39% of those individuals reported having a mental illness within the last year [2]. Members of the LGBTQ+ community are also two times more likely to experience a mental health disorder than nonmembers [3]. Individuals of color within this community have additional mental health challenges, such as increased minority stress. Due to this, it’s evident that LGBTQ+ mental health needs more attention, beyond its recognition during Pride Month. Some of the resources available for LGBTQ+ mental health and education that can be utilized at any time of the year are: The Trevor Project [4], the National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network. National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network [5], and the GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) [6].

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In 2020, 50.2% of adults in the U.S. who Identified as LGBTQ+, were found to have experienced a mental health illness [7]. Every month individuals suffer from poor mental health, especially within the LGBTQ+ community; therefore, it’s important to be educated on the challenges being faced and the resources available to all individuals, at all times of the year. There are several resources available for both members and nonmembers of this community, especially regarding education and support. Pride month ends when June does but continue to broaden your education on the mental health of the LGBTQ+ community all year long. 


[1] LGBTQ+ Communities and Mental Health. Mental Health America. https://mhanational.org/issues/lgbtq-communities-and-mental-health.

[2] Newport, F. (2018, May 22). In U.S., estimate of LGBT population rises to 4.5 percent. Gallup. https://news.gallup.com/poll/234863/estimate-lgbt-population-rises.aspx

[3] Tesch D. Minority Stress and Mental health in the LGBTQ Community: Is there a Connection? HealthPartners Blog. April 11, 2023. https://www.healthpartners.com/blog/mental-health-in-the-lgbtq-community/.

[4] Resource Center - The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project. https://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/.

[5] National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network. National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network. https://nqttcn.com/en/.

[6] Homepage - GLSEN. GLSEN. https://www.glsen.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwkLCkBhA9EiwAka9QRvoOO7OIwVDaYgOBQkKRjLXdJt3hsaagtXcfeOMtxUkId8bAFn5E2BoCVr0QAvD_BwE.

[7] Mental Health by the Numbers. NAMI. https://nami.org/mhstats?gad=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjwnMWkBhDLARIsAHBOftrj_M8e2B7dSRVu7wpveRgRUUAIJtMG18mbTXMLLusvQ2yEzLC48JMaArpFEALw_wcB.