Mental health support if you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans (LGBTQ+)

Mental health problems such as depression or self-harm can affect any of us, but they’re more common among people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT).

This may be linked to LGBT people’s experience of discrimination, homophobia or transphobia, bullying, social isolation, or rejection because of their sexuality.

Other things, such as their age, religion, where they live, and their ethnicity can add extra complications to an already difficult situation.

How talking therapy can help

It might not be easy, but getting help with issues you’re struggling to deal with on your own is one of the most important things you can do.

Talking with a therapist who’s trained to work with LGBT people may help with issues such as:

  • difficulty accepting your sexual orientation
  • coping with other people’s reactions to your sexuality
  • feeling your body does not reflect your true gender (gender dysphoria)
  • transitioning
  • low self-esteem
  • self-harm
  • suicidal thoughts
  • depression
  • coping with bullying and discrimination
  • anger, isolation or rejection from family, friends or your community
  • fear of violence

Read about different types of talking therapy and how they can help.

When to get help

Do not suffer in silence. You should get help as soon as you feel you need it. It’s never too late to get help, no matter how big or small your problems might seem.

You could benefit from a talking therapy if you:

  • feel tired or lack energy
  • feel tearful
  • shut yourself away from people
  • no longer want to do things you used to enjoy
  • use alcohol or drugs to help you cope with your feelings
  • harm yourself or have thoughts about self-harming
  • think about suicide

If you’re struggling to cope right now, contact Samaritans:

Samaritans offers a safe place for you to talk about whatever’s on your mind, at any time.

Where to get help

Speak to a GP

Consider talking to a GP. They’ll know what help is available locally and can help you decide which treatment is best for you.

When discussing your situation, try to be as honest as possible with the GP so they can suggest the best type of support for you.

See this post for more information about LGBTQ+ in The Old School Surgery

Support organisations

These organisations offer mental health advice, support and services for LGBT people.

Gendered Intelligence
The organisation runs youth groups in London, Leeds and Bristol for trans, non-binary and questioning young people. It also runs a peer-led support group in London for people aged 18 to 30.

Imaan is a charity that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) Muslims, providing an online forum where people can share experiences and ask for help.

This membership organisation work to support LGBT+ organisations and projects around the country. Use the site’s Member’s Directory to find local mental health services.

LGBT Foundation
The LGBT Foundation offers information, advice, and support services, including a Talking Therapies Programme to LGBT people.

London Friend
London Friend offers support groups and services, such as counselling and drug and alcohol support, to LGBT people in and around London.

Get information about mental health support for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, non-binary, queer or questioning (LGBTIQ).

Pink Therapy
Pink Therapy has an online directory of therapists who work with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer or questioning (LGBTIQ), and people who are gender- and sexual-diverse (GSD).

Find LGBT mental health services near you using Stonewall’s “What’s in my area?” search box.

Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline
Switchboard provides a listening service for LGBT+ people over the phone, via email and online chat. It can provide you with contact details of an LGBT-friendly therapist.