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Systemic Oppression and Mental Health – Part 2

LGBTQ individuals often experience marginalization, rejection, and harassment on a regular basis.  They often fear losing their jobs (in some States, you can be fired for being gay), being targeted for violence, or being denied basic human rights.  As a result, they are 3 times more likely than others to experience a mental disorder such as depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, self harm and suicide attempts.

LGBTQ youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight people.  At particular risk are those who have experienced rejection from their families after revealing their sexual orientation.  An estimated 20-30% of LGBTQ people abuse substances, compared to about 9% of the general population, and 25% of LGBT people abuse alcohol, compared to 5-10% of the general population.

Groups that are stigmatized are at greater risk of experiencing a mental disorder. Marginalization, rejection and harassment do not fulfill the command, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love heals.



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