CMHA Ontario joins individuals and organizations worldwide to celebrate the history, courage and diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S+) individuals for Pride Month in June.
While Pride festivals across the province recognize Ontario’s vibrant and creative LGBTQ2S+ communities, it’s important to note that LGBTQ individuals continue to face specific mental health issues and barriers for accessing supports.
LGBTQ2S+ people are as diverse as the general Canadian population in their experiences of mental health and well-being but they face higher risks for some mental health issues due to the effects of discrimination and the social determinants of health.
Additional factors that may impact on mental health and well-being for LGBTQ2S+ people include the process of “coming out” (sharing one’s LGBTQ2S+ identity with others), gender transition, internalized oppression, isolation and alienation and loss of family or social supports. LGBTQ2S+ people may also experience other forms of marginalization – such as racism, sexism, poverty or other factors – alongside homophobia or transphobia that negatively impact on mental health.
If you’re experiencing low mood, anxiety, worry or stress, BounceBack Ontario is
available to help. BounceBack Ontario is a free self-help telephone coaching program. Coaches with training in LGBTQ2S+ equity and trauma-informed care provide mental health support to adults and youth 15+. Visit bouncebackontario.ca for more info.
For more on LGBTQ2S+ communities and mental health, visit the Rainbow Health Ontario website.