May 2022 is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Radiant Health Centers is throwing our support behind this important movement. As a provider of LGBTQ+ counseling and mental health services in Orange County, we understand the challenges faced by the community. By working together to raise awareness and support those most in need, we can improve mental health outcomes for the future.
Mental Health Awareness Month in Orange County
Through our relationships with the Orange County LGBTQ+ community, the Radiant Health Centers team is acutely aware of the disproportionate impact of mental health issues. Studies repeatedly point to an increased risk of mental stress, and it can often lead to ongoing concerns such as substance abuse.
One survey found that LGBTQ+ adults were more than twice as likely to report mental health issues than heterosexual individuals in the same age group. Another study discovered that transgender people reported higher cases of depressive symptoms and suicide attempts. With such a disparity, access to mental health counseling for the LGBTQ+ community takes on an increasingly important role.
Why Is Mental Health Such an Issue in the LGBTQ+ Community?
During Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to look closely at the reasons for raised levels of mental health conditions affecting LGBTQ+ people. Some of these reasons include the following.
- Discrimination at work or in healthcare – Experiences of discrimination can lead to unemployment and a reluctance to seek medical care.
- Rejection from friends and family – As a response to a person’s sexual identity, relationships with friends and family can sometimes deteriorate.
- Traumatic experiences – Many within the community face harassment, bullying, verbal abuse and physical intimidation.
- Alcohol and drug abuse – Substance abuse for LGBTQ+ adults is higher than for the wider population, with mental health issues a contributing factor.
- Lack of stable accommodation – Homelessness caused by discrimination, substance abuse or limited employment opportunities can reduce the opportunities to obtain a stable living environment.
Responding to the Mental Health Challenge
Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity to shine a light on this issue across social media, blogs and other platforms. By openly discussing the mental health issues faced by many within the LGBTQ+ community, it is possible to reduce the stigma and encourage anyone in need to use the various social services available at clinics such as Radiant Health Centers.
Mental health is not a problem that exists in isolation. From a reluctance to seek STD or HIV testing due to fears of discrimination, to an increased possibility of turning to drug use, mental health is part of a wider problem. However, it’s only by spreading awareness that so many people can access the counseling that will lead to a brighter and more fulfilling life.
Mental Health Services for the Orange County LGBTQ+ Community
Radiant Health Centers provides mental health services and counseling from our Irvine medical clinic. Patients can access in-person or telehealth counseling services with our experienced and understanding team. For assistance, call (949) 809-5700 or request an appointment now.