As you hopefully know by now, June is Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community. As a mental health and social service agency, our goal is to ensure a confidential and safe space for all of our clients, both inside the JFS building and out. Our job is to listen, believe, and advocate for those whose voices have been marginalized.
For many years, JFS has sent letters to our elected officials on behalf of our clients. Although we are not an activist organization and we have no political affiliation, it is our responsibility as mental health professionals to help eradicate the causes of mental illness in our most vulnerable populations, including the LGBTQ+ community.
Did you know that LGBTQ+ teens are six times more likely to experience symptoms of depression than non-LGBTQ+ identifying teens? They are more than twice as likely to feel suicidal and over four times as likely to attempt suicide compared to heterosexual youth. 48% of transgender adults report that they have considered suicide in the last year, compared to just 4% of the overall US population.
When members of our community are suffering, it is our job to fight for them. Bills that target LGBTQ+ individuals and prevent them from equal opportunity employment, doing the things that they enjoy, or getting access to medical treatment, including mental health services, harm our cause.
At Jewish Family Service, we firmly believe that hate has no place in our world, and most certainly not in our own neighborhood. This Pride Month, we want our clients and our community to know that we are here for you. No matter who you are, how you identify, where you come from, or where you are going, we are here for you. And that is something we take pride in.
We have gathered a list of mental health resources for LGBTQ+ communities below. To start services at JFS, call our intake line at 972-437-9950 x340.
LGBTQ+ Mental Health Resources
Guide for LGBTQ Youth: This guide from HRC and the Child Mind Institute offers specific tips for LGBTQ youth about the importance of mental health, how to help a friend struggling with mental health issues, and how to find an LGBTQ-affirmative therapist.
Statistics and image pulled from Mental Health America, https://www.mhanational.org/issues/lgbtq-communities-and-mental-health