World Mental Health Day 2023 is an opportunity for people and communities to unite behind the theme ‘Mental health is a universal human right” to improve knowledge, raise awareness and drive actions that promote and protect everyone’s mental health as a universal human right. Mental health is a basic human right for all people. Everyone, whoever and wherever they are, has a right to the highest attainable standard of mental health. This includes the right to be protected from mental health risks, the right to available, accessible, acceptable, and good quality care, and the right to liberty, independence and inclusion in the community. Good mental health is vital to our overall health and well-being. Yet one in eight people globally are living with mental health conditions, which can impact their physical health, their well-being, how they connect with others, and their livelihoods.
It is well-known fact that LGBTQ+ people are at a higher risk of experiencing bad mental health than the average population. These are just a few examples of the key themes that people present with when seeking support from our charity:
- Family & societal pressures
- Hate crime
- Trauma (Traumatic experiences, hate crimes, assaults, bullying, hiding identity)
- Coming out
- Access to health care Identity & Gender confusion
- Waiting lists (GIC)
What steps can you take to improve your mental health?
Talk to someone you trust – It might feel hard to start talking about how you are feeling. But many people find that sharing their experiences can help them feel better. It may be that just having someone listen to you and show they care can help in itself.
Peer Support – Making connections with people who have similar or shared experiences can be helpful. This could be other people with mental health problems, or other LGBTQIA+ people, or both. One way of doing this could be attending an LGBTQ+ support group or a mental health support group.
Access LGBTQ+ services – you can either self-refer to our service or a 3rd party can refer you for counselling or 1-2-1 support. Alternatively, there are other LGBTQ+ organisations that can help and support you. There is a full list of other LGBTQ+ charities and services in a directory on our website.
Engage with mental health services – A lot of people only seek mental health support when they are in a crisis. But mental health services can help and support you when you’re also not at crisis point but need some support and prevention is always better than cure.
Self-Care – Self-care is so important, and it’s not self-indulgent or selfish, it’s a necessity. Self-care can be anything we do for ourselves that help improve our mental and physical health. It means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well, you can help and care for others, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day.
To access our support services
Sometimes it is hard to take that first step alone. At Lancashire LGBT we provide support for those struggling with bad mental health.
- To self-refer for our counselling service or our one-to-one support service, visit: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/self-refer
- To register for our support/activity groups, visit: https://lancslgbt.org.uk/peer-support-and-social-support-groups/
- Or, to find groups near you, visit our directory: https://lancslgbt.org.uk/peer-support-and-social-support-groups/