Mental health was once seen as a positive concept related to the social and emotional well-being of people and communities. Commonly it is referred to and related to happiness and the overall enjoyment of life with the strong ability to cope with negative emotions such as sadness and stress. Mental health issues are comprised of sexual discrimination, eating disorders and gender identification. The concept that mental health was once seen as a positive is now becoming a globally alarming crisis. The effects of mental health have adverse impacts which include the denial of employment, education, and targeted healthcare.
Our psychological, emotional, and social well-being define our mental health. Mental health is very crucial in all stages of life. It determines how we relate to each other in society. It also determines how we make choices and handle stress.
Around the world the LGBTQ+ community is facing discrimination in almost all aspects, resulting in a rise of suicidal behaviours much higher than our peers. By amplifying our voice about mental health will help to improve the acceptance of suffering, understanding of our illnesses, seeking help, and taking the first steps on the road to recovery.
The Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Statistics 2021 Snapshot for LGBTQ+ persons offer a portrait of what is referred to as the effects of the current health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community. These massive upsurges were linked with matters concerning mental health, sexual discrimination, and eating disorders. These issues seem to have a rapid and distinct effect on mental depression in gay men within Australia. With alarming statistics such as “40.1% of LGBTQ+ between the ages of 14-21 reported to have self-harmed in the past 12 months”. This rate is compared to the heterosexual or general population of self-harm 21.25% self-harm between the ages of 20-24 years of age. These statistics indicate that this is a problem led by issues related to intolerance, stigma, and discrimination.
We all have listened to someone telling their story and thought “Oh, I’m not the only one!”. Identifying similarities with others, helps us to understand, reflect and live a better life. Every time we share our stories it allows others an opportunity to feel less alone. I have been lucky enough to share my stories, even though at times it was hard to express the words and speak my truth. I have shared my experiences with people close to me including friends and family, I can now genuinely say the impact of genuine connections and conversation can truly make a difference. There are plenty of ways to share your experiences, but most importantly you need to feel safe and comfortable with how you choose to go about it.
By taking on this opportunity I am taking a step out of my comfort zone to share, to amplify my voice, and give others the chance to ask for help or some time to just listen. I plan to advocate around issues such as body shaming, identity crisis, community acceptance, and mental well-being.
There are some things we can control in life and there are some things we cannot, so let’s take control of the things we can. As Mark Shields once said, “There is always strength in numbers” and here is where we prevail. By creating a voice and a platform of support. Those struggling with mental health should look for help as soon as possible. Thus, this will help us and others that might have the fear to speak up. You are not alone, or better yet, WE are not alone.
Last Updated on Oct 27, 2022