The National Alliance on Mental Illness says LGBTQ youth are almost three times more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Des Bansile almost became one of those statistics.
“A youth who is struggling with their identity when they come out — they have to face if their parents are going to accept them or their friends, who they’ve known forever, are going to accept them,” Bansile said.
“The steps I took to try and hide who I was led me down a really dark path while I was in college, and I became depressed and suicidal,” she said.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for LGBTQ individuals between 10 and 24 years old, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Psychologist Dr. Daniel Munoz specializes in treating LGBTQ kids.
“Suicide rates are highest among all different subgroups among LGBTQ teens,” Munoz says. “We also have one of the highest rates of homelessness, one of the highest rates of being abandoned by their family.” And Munoz says every family can make a difference early in their kids’ lives.
“Have a family value where we accept people for who they are,” he said. “So, from the time the child can walk and talk, promote those values of acceptance.”
It could be the difference between life and death.
The numbers are staggering when you look at who’s at a high risk of depression. One in three gay and lesbian individuals have experienced depression. That’s more than double the rate of peopled who identify as straight.
If you need help with whatever you’re going through, you can find people to help you at 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.
You can also text “home” to 741-741 to get connected with professionals near you.
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