The Need for Mental Health Services Among the LGBTQ+ Community

By: Jayson Tripp, MD


June marks the beginning of Pride Month, a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community’s freedom to be themselves, as well as a time to rally behind those who have experienced discrimination because of their sexual orientation. Mental health is a significant part of this conversation. This month, it is essential to examine the greater need for mental health services among the LGBTQ+ community to ensure that no more lives are needlessly lost from a lack of proper mental health support.  

The Statistics 

The pandemic has seen positive shifts in destigmatizing mental health care, but for many members of the LGBTQ+ community, accessing mental health services still comes with many roadblocks. 

It’s important to note that LGBTQ+ experiences and identities are not mental health challenges, nor do they cause them. However, statistics do indicate that individuals within the LGBTQ+ community are at an increased risk of experiencing mental health challenges due to risk factors such as discrimination and intolerance. 

  • According to estimations compiled from surveys found on, approximately 9 million (about half the population of New York) or 3.8% of adults in the United States identify as being part of the LGBTQ+ community, including those who identify as gay or lesbian (1.7%), bisexual (1.8%), or transgender (0.3%).  
  • Of those 9 million individuals, more than 4.2 million, or about 39%, report having mental health issues.  
  • 42% of LGBTQ+ youth report having seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. This percentage includes more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. 
  • Those in the LGBTQ+ community are 2.5 times more likely to experience depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental illnesses compared to heterosexuals. 
  • Three-fourths of transgender people have been the victims of discrimination when seeking health care, and one in five transgender people have been denied care by a provider. 
  • Mental health accessibility for LGBTQ+ individuals is still inadequate despite the increasing need for mental health support within the community.  

How Mental Health Resources Can Help 

Having access to mental health support is essential for members of the LGBTQ+ community. It can often mean the difference between life and death for those in crisis. A 2019 research report from The Trevor Project found that LGBTQ+ youth who had the support of at least one adult in their lives were 40% less likely to report attempted suicide, and a 2021 report found that LGBTQ+ youth who had access to safe spaces that affirmed their identity and experiences reported lower rates of suicide attempts. 

Within the field of mental health, providers must be prepared to treat the needs of every patient. This includes offering a welcoming environment to patients belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. By being a source of support, mental health professionals can provide accessible and successful care to all patients in need of help. 

Further Support 

Though your loved one is never obligated to share their experiences, you can cultivate a more positive environment for their mental health by helping them feel safe, validated, and heard. Here are a few ways you can support loved ones who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community: 

  • Respect and support the person’s LGBTQ+ experience and sexual/gender identity. Denying a person’s identity can further damage the mental health of an individual in crisis. 
  • Ask them what help they need, rather than making assumptions or giving unsolicited advice. 
  • If your loved one is in a crisis situation, encourage them to seek help from a medical or mental health professional as soon as possible. 

LGBTQ+ individuals often report that mental health care can feel excluding, uncomfortable, and unsafe. At Serenity Mental Health Centers, we’ve made it our mission to provide our communities with accessible mental health treatment for every patient, including patients in the LGBTQ+ community. Our clinics in the Phoenix, Arizona; Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; and Las Vegas, Nevada metro areas are  well equipped to respond to patients in need of help through personalized care plans designed to treat the individual. With our upcoming clinic opening in Las Vegas, Nevada, we will strive to help all patients in the Silver State suffering from depression and anxiety to achieve long-term results through treatments such as ketamine therapy, TMS therapy, and medication management. 

You are not alone. Take back your life from mental illness and reach out to us to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed psychiatrists in your area. 

Request Appointment

*All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.