Celebrate Pride Month

Summer is here and it’s truly a beautiful time of year. It’s a time to go outside, spend time with loved ones, and for the month of June, it’s time to celebrate PRIDE month! Pride month is here, and it’s a joyous time of the year. The first pride month began in 1970, on the year anniversary of the Stonewall protests for gay rights. Since then, pride celebrations have taken place and June is now known as pride month. 

 

Mental Health

The month of June brings opportunity for celebrations!  During this time it’s important to support our loved ones, neighbors, and community. For individuals who identify within the LGBTQ+ community, mental health is an aspect of life that is posed with increased challenges. The community as a whole experiences anxiety and depression at double the rate of the general population. Transgender individuals are also more likely to experience suicidality, depression, and anxiety at higher rates. There is also a noted prevalence of substance use and eating disorders within the community. This is likely to be accompanied by co-existing mental health disorders. Chronic stress is also another factor that affects the LGBTQ+ community. This stress is attributed to increases in discrimination, threats to physical safety, and added stress due to racial and ethnic backgrounds. 

 

Importance of Connection

Due to the unique mental health challenges of the LGBTQ+ community, a sense of belonging and connection is essential to challenging the biases and prejudices of non-affirming individuals. A sense of loving and connected community is as essential as air. This could be in the form of attending Pride celebrations or celebrating with family and friends who are allies or a part of the community.  Also, meeting in safe spaces at a coming out support group or spending time with chosen family members are great ways to increase connectedness and build confidence in self. 

Along with building community and connection, it is also important for allies of the community to engage and show their support. As an ally, you can provide a safe space, since of connection, and support to friends and loved ones.

 

Ways to Support During Pride Month

There are so many ways to support and advocate for this beautiful community of people. Expanding your knowledge by engaging in diversity training within the workplace is just one way to expand your support. Supporting local LGBTQ+ businesses and authors is a helpful way to contribute.  Also, advocating for change and volunteering at community centers that service the LGBTQ+ population are wonderful ways to show love and support. Along with these various methods of supporting and engagement, offering a safe space and listening ear is one of the most valuable. 

If you or someone you know is in need of counseling services, please reach out. You can call us at 832-352-1600 or you can click HERE to go to our website.

Kaitlyn DeLeon, LPC

Kaitlyn DeLeon, LPC

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