LGBTQ+ youth in Orange County are disproportionately affected by mental health challenges. As Radiant Health Centers prepares to launch their new LGBTQ+ Youth & Mentorship program, it’s a good time to reflect on the challenges many young people in the community face each day.
Sadly, social stigma, discrimination and judgment about identities are frequent sources of stress during the pivotal adolescent years. And now more than ever, it’s important to raise awareness of these issues and deliver comprehensive LGBTQ+ youth services.
Showing Support for LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health in Orange County
As the largest LGBTQ+ healthcare provider in Orange County, we are constantly reminded of the struggles facing young people. Many LGBTQ+ youth lack a support system to guide them towards adulthood. Consequently, individuals are left to navigate home, school, healthcare and workplace environments that are often less than accommodating of their needs.
At Radiant Health Centers, we are committed to providing physical, mental and social services to the most vulnerable LGBTQ+ youth. With this commitment in mind during our annual celebration of Pride Month, we are asking for donations to support our LGBTQ+ Youth & Mentorship program. The first $25,000 raised by July 31st will be matched dollar-for-dollar thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.
How Do Mental Health Issues Impact LGBTQ+ Youth?
Stress, anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia and other mental health disorders impact Orange County LGBTQ+ youth. Unfortunately, these issues often have a cumulative effect that leads to other health issues. Statistics show that our LGBTQ+ youth have disproportionately high rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, and are also more likely to attempt suicide.
According to a survey by The Trevor Project, 42% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered suicide during the last year. In addition, 94% of respondents also reported that recent politics had negatively impacted their mental health. By contrast, they reported that having access to spaces that affirmed their sexual orientation led to lower rates of attempted suicide.
Expanding Mental Health Programs for Orange County’s LGBTQ+ Youth
Access to uplifting spaces is one of the initiatives introduced with the latest youth programs that are coming to Radiant Health Centers. A drop-in center will provide a place for LGBTQ+ transitional-aged youth (ages 13 to 25), one that is designed specifically to address their needs. Similarly, LGBTQ+ counseling groups, mentorship and sexual health education will provide solid foundations for individuals as they develop into adulthood. Thankfully, as awareness is raised on the mental health struggles of LGBTQ+ youth, more help and guidance can reduce inequalities and create a better future for young people in Orange County.
Supporting the LGBTQ+ Youth in Orange County
At Radiant Health Centers we provide counseling, support and medical services to the LGBTQ+ community in Orange County. If you need help with HIV testing and treatment, STI testing, mental health counseling and other programs, reach out to our Irvine clinic. For assistance, call (949) 809-5700 or request an appointment now.