LGBTQ+ Mental Health Worse Due to Covid-19
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on all our lives. From loneliness to immense stress due to job uncertainty and financial worry, many of us are developing severe mental health issues like depression and anxiety. However, recently, an Oireachtas committee has discovered how Covid-19 has impacted the LGBTQ+ community specifically.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community have already faced much adversity and prejudice before the pandemic. Still, with restrictions leading to further isolation from family and supporters, the impact this has had on their mental health is stark.
Please keep reading to find out more about the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of LGBTQ+ members, as well as what can be done to help support those around us we see are struggling.
The Oireachtas sub-committee on mental health heard from representatives from BelongToYouth Services and the Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI) on mental health issues that have emerged due to Covid-19 lockdowns.
Research conducted by BelongToYouth Services has found that 93% of LGBTQ+ young people were struggling with anxiety, stress and depression during Covid-19 compared to 53% of non-LGBTQ+ youth.
Moninne Griffith, CEO of BelongToYouth Services, said, “we’re fearful the devastating impact of Covid on the lives of LGBTQ+ youth will live long beyond the virus. Covid-19 has exacerbated mental health problems, and many feel isolated from support networks that love and support them for who they are.
“For young people who are not out, or who are but don’t have parental support, accessing mental health care is impossible.”
A TENI representative also told the committee how the years-long waiting lists for transgender people seeking assessments have only grown during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr Vanessa Lacey, TENI’s Health and Education Manager, said they hear many horror stories about these assessments and the tackle to apply for transitions, which only contributes to mental health issues.
Even Labour Party Senator Annie Hoey has spoken out about the lack of proper care and support for transgender people before and during the pandemic. She said, “I don’t think a week goes by where I don’t see young trans people fundraising for transitions online and having to travel abroad.”
Supporting Mental Health
With LGBTQ+ mental health getting worse due to the pandemic, we all must take the time to reflect on our mental health and those of friends and family. We are all being affected somehow due to the pandemic, but members of the LGBTQ+ community face isolation from support, a lack of support and access to NHS services, and growing hate crimes across the country.
The best way we can support our mental health, and the mental health of others, is through therapy, whether this is taking the first step to book a consultation for ourselves or speaking to loved ones about the benefits of therapy. Therapy can help provide LGBTQ+ people with the support they need, whether they are provided with this at home or from loved ones. With Covid-19 making NHS waiting lists longer, private therapy can help skip this queue and provide support, no matter the current restrictions in place. With winter looking to bring a new wave of Covid-19, we need to be prepared for the possibility of restrictions once more. I ensure you won’t face a break in support during uncertain times like these by offering face-to-face and online sessions that ensure we stay in contact throughout.
Therapy can help you understand your ongoing mental health struggles and allow me to understand your mind as no one has before. From this understanding and partnership with yourself comes the ability to provide tailored advice and support to help you overcome your mental health issues.
Please take a look at my website to learn more about my services as a therapist. No matter your situation, the trauma you face, or any mental health illness you suffer, I can support your ongoing journey to improved mental health. As a fully qualified, experienced, and motivated therapist, I am dedicated to helping my clients find the path to a happier and more hopeful future where they are no longer plagued by poor mental health.