Though great strides have been made over the last few decades for LGBTQ rights, more work remains to be done. Importantly, LGBTQ+ youth are especially vulnerable in today’s tumultuous political environment.
Countless studies indicate that LGBTQ+ individuals, including both mature adults and youths, face unique challenges. That may place them at a higher risk for mental health conditions. This is simply unacceptable for a modern country like the United States, and for a state as rich in resources as Texas.
If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community or you know someone who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community, you aren’t alone. Multiple LGBTQ+ support resources in Tarrant County exist and are available for you today. Together, we can help ensure that all LGBTQ+ people feel welcome and healthy and that they can pursue their dreams without discrimination!
LGBTQ Support is Available in Tarrant County Texas
The Trevor Project
Focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth. www.thetrevorproject.org
National Runaway Safeline
For runaway and homeless youth, their parents and families, teens in crisis, and others who might benefit from its services. It is confidential, anonymous and free.
Youth Crisis Hotline
A 24-hour hotline for any crisis – from pregnancy to drugs to depression.
Text CONNECT to 74174
Breaking discrimination barriers that divide us
Discrimination is one of the worst elements of human psychology. It stems from an inherent tendency to quickly categorize. and make judgments about individuals with snap decisions. Although this may have helped humans in ancient times, now many people use discrimination to unfairly judge people.
Few groups suffer discrimination as regularly as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ+) community. But support groups, channels, and programs are available for individuals who face discrimination from their family members, peers, or from official organizations and workplaces.
Overall, the powers that we hold together are much greater than those that remain separate. It’s more important than ever before to band together, fight against racism and sexism, and ensure that LGBTQ+ people enjoy the freedoms and security that others do.
Important risk factors of LGBTQ+ mental health
Unfortunately, the LGBTQ+ community currently faces much discrimination. This does not always take the form of stereotypical or overt discrimination. For example, it is illegal for an employer to deny an open position to an individual based on their gender.
However, subtle or discreet discrimination is very much a fact of life for many LGBTQ+ individuals. This can include:
Every life adds beauty to the world.
Denial of opportunities or access to resources based on harmful stereotypes Abuse, be it verbal, mental, or physical. Over 80% of gay-queer+/aging teens have experienced an assault at least once.
At their core, LGBTQ+ folks simply want to feel accepted by society and by the people around them, especially their friends and family members. However, because of differences between gender identity or sexual orientation, bigoted people are often cruel or rude to LGBTQ+ individuals for no reason.
Because of these forms of discrimination, LGBTQ+ people are roughly twice as likely as heterosexual individuals to suffer mental disorders or substance abuse disorders. In many cases, these disorders are responses to the harsh pressure they face from the outside world. It can be very difficult to face ongoing discrimination on a daily basis, and many LGBTQ+ individuals feel very alone.
All too often, LGBTQ+ people struggling with discrimination do so in silence. They isolate, either intentionally or accidentally, and almost universally experience significantly less positive health outcomes over the course of their lives.
If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community, remember this: you are not alone. In fact, millions of Americans stand by you and there are local resources in Tarrant County you can take advantage of to improve your situation, receive the support you need, and more.
How do I help support LGBTQ+ individuals?
Even for those with the best of intentions, supporting LGBTQ+ individuals can be difficult, particularly given the nature of common discrimination types. For instance, LGBTQ people who are victimized by someone they are in a relationship with need help, but it can be very tough to support them the right way.
Overall, if you’re an individual wanting to support the LGBTQ+ community or simply provide help to an LGBTQ+ person in your life, the best thing you can do overall is be an active part of their lives.
Show them regular love and affection, and listen to how they feel all the time, even if they need to talk about their feelings frequently. You should check on them as often as possible, especially since many LGBTQ+ individuals are at a greater risk of social isolation, depression, and mental conditions.
Furthermore, transgender youth are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, even from other individuals in the LGBTQ+ community. If you know a transgender person in your life, show them as much support as you can, and try to inform their family members about the need for support. Family support can make all the difference when it comes to transgender people.
When discussing support options with LGBTQ+ individuals, be sure to mention support resources and help centers like Recognize & Rise’s partners. We offer hotlines where youth and adults alike can speak to professionals and vent, as well as support groups and wellness exercises that can improve mental health and offer stability and support.
Overall, strong familial and friend relationships, assistance from caring adults like teachers and employers, and safe schools can do wonders to improve LGBTQ+ youth mental health and lower the risk of depression or suicidality. This is no surprise – after all, teen support is crucial for the formation of self-identity for everyone!
How do I take care of myself?
What if you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community? If that’s the case, the key thing to remember is that you are not alone under any circumstances.
In fact, LGBTQ+ folks are everywhere, even if you feel isolated or alone or if you don’t know anyone else in the LGBTQ community. You can contact Recognize & Rise partners today, or seek out additional LGBTQ+ crisis intervention and suicide prevention organizations for hotlines, contacts, message boards, and more. These organizations include:
The Human Rights Campaign, which offers volunteer opportunities if you want to help the LGBTQ+ community and support resources.
PFLAG, a wide-ranging and diverse organization with over 400 chapters throughout the United States. Parents and families, allies, and LGBTQ+ individuals can access resources on this site.
The Trevor Project, a place to receive resources for suicide prevention and support if you need them.
National Alliance on Mental Illness, an excellent resource if you are struggling with mental health or want to assist the LGBTQ+ community.
Beyond everything else, you can take care of yourself as an LGBTQ+ individual by building a personal support system. The people you surround yourself with should have your back no matter what. If your friends or family members discriminate against you or make your life difficult, do not stay around them.
Instead, surround yourself with individuals who love and support you for who you are, not for who you are “supposed” to be.
In addition, remember that you’re a strong individual but that it always pays to have a plan for a crisis. Suicidal ideation is not a sign that you are crazy, nor does it mean that you are unworthy of love or help. If you are of clear mind, you should make a safety plan starting today, beginning with a step to contact someone you trust so you can get the help you need to overcome that burden.
In case of depression, have a game plan in place so you know who to contact and what resources you can draw on to get out of that negative headspace. Above all else, take care of yourself; there are people in your life who want to see you do well!
LGBTQ+ Support Resources in Tarrant County, Texas
Times are changing for the better. Across the country and around the world, LGBTQ+ individuals are more accepted than ever before and laws are rapidly being passed to prevent discrimination from impacting the mental health and life opportunities of members of the LGBTQ+ community.
That being said, challenges still exist for LGBTQ+ students, professionals, and others. Those challenges do not have to be faced alone; quite the contrary, in fact! At Recognize & Rise, we can provide you with the hotlines, wellness exercises, support groups, and more information you need to thrive in your future.
If you need anything, don’t hesitate to contact our partners today. Start building up a support group of friends and family members around yourself ASAP. And if you notice an LGBTQ+ individual who needs help, reach out. Just one person showing an at-risk person kindness could be all the difference they need to get back up and feel better.
Referral to services for basic needs like mental health, rent, utilities, transportation. (Bilingual) Supported by United Way.
www.tarrantcares.org Online info service for individuals, families, caregivers & agencies; mental health, Substance use, IDD, Veterans.
No official endorsement by the Mental Health Connection or its membership for the information on this web site is intended or should be inferred. The materials contained on this site are made available for educational purposes only and are not meant to serve as medical advice or to replace consultation with your physician or mental health professional. Information about diagnosis and treatment that appears on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a mental health problem. You are advised to consult a qualified mental health care provider about your personal questions or concerns. The views and opinions of authors expressed on this site do not necessarily state or reflect those of the Mental Health Connection or its membership. Links to external websites are provided for convenience of reference only and are not intended as an endorsement of the organization or a warranty of any type of information on the site.