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Happy Pride Month, Tampa Bay! As this month of celebrating LGBTQ+ activism, culture, and joy comes to an end, we can and should continue to prioritize LGBTQ+ wellness all year long. Pride Month serves as a reminder to show up fiercely for LGBTQ+ people, and that means acknowledging the challenges and barriers to care they often face when seeking mental health care. 

It’s not a surprise that LGBTQ+ youth and adults can face additional discrimination, and stigma, and experience difficulty accessing affirming resources. However, these additional barriers can have catastrophic consequences. According to Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that 41% of LGBTQ+ respondents seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth reporting this experience. These rates lowered significantly when these young people felt they were treated with respect and affirmation in their homes and the institutions they frequent. 

It’s important for LGBTQ+ people and their allies to stand firmly in resistance to barriers to care and support faced in the community. But it’s also worth mentioning that LGBTQ+ culture has a long history of resilience and creating community and care outside of existing mainstream frameworks. There is so much that we can all honor and learn from the legacy of the care networks in the LGBTQ+ community. Because when LGBTQ+ people fight for access, it isn’t just for themselves, it’s for all of us. And we can return the favor. 

Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or not, the spirit of Pride does not need to end this month. There are countless ways to bring it into your life for the rest of the year. Here’s just a few:

Each of us has a role to play in creating a more inclusive and supportive community and world for everyone. This Pride Month and beyond, let’s affirm our commitment to the mental health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community in the Tampa Bay area. Together, we can continue to advocate for and support their well-being every day. And remember, if you need help finding mental health resources that support and affirm your gender identity and sexual orientation, we’re here to help. Just dial 844-YOU-OKAY to reach our free, confidential support line for Tampa Bay. 

 

Until next time,

Your Team at Let’s Talk Tampa Bay

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