428-A Launiu Street
Honolulu, HI 96815
Phone: (213) 880 8262

How You Can Help Support The Mental Health of Your LGBTQ Loved Ones

As Simon and Garfunkel once sang, “The times they are a changin’.” With change, as in the ever-emerging LGBTQ community, new thoughts and ways of doing things–for our own benefit and for the benefit of others, becomes crucial, and even exciting, no matter what our own personal thoughts and beliefs might be. As Dorothy Johnson, a mother of two gay children, once said, “If there’s not enough room for that person, then there’s not enough room for me.” In other words, each of us spend the same 24-hours together on this Earth, whoever we might be, wherever we may have come from, no matter what we each do, think or say, and each of us have our own personal space that belongs to us.

At East West Therapy Hawaii, we believe personal space a wonderful thing that should be respected, first, for ourself and then for all of those around us.

LGBTQ Mental Health Facts

  • In 2015, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that one in three LGBQ adults experienced mental illness in 2015, compared with only one in five heterosexual adults (Medley 2016).
  • Transgender youth are far more likely than their non-transgender peers to experience depression — nearly four times the risk, according to one study (Reisner 2015). Similarly, LGBQ teens experience significantly more depression symptoms than their heterosexual peers (Marshal 2011).
  • For transgender children and youth, family and community support makes all the difference. Although research has repeatedly found that transgender children experience mental health problems, including suicidality, at high rates, a recent study found that transgender children whose families affirmed their gender identity were as psychologically healthy as their nontransgender peers (Olson 2016).

    Emotionally and Mentally Supporting the LGBTQ Community

    What can a person do to make sure our actions and words help, not hinder, the freedom we all desire to enjoy, including the LGBTQ community, so the good feelings that come with providing healthy forward movement works for all of us.

    Consider Your Commitment to Internal and External Peace

    It has been said that, when we point a finger at someone else, we actually are pointing three fingers back at us. Our inner peace at its best when we are comfortable with who we are, and then with who others are. For our own well-being, focusing on magnifying our own journey rather than spending time complicating someone else’s journey can go a long way. For a LGBTQ loved one, receiving your kindness helps provide healing and comfort for some of the struggles they may be going through, just as this same kindness helps us with our struggles. We know because we have had the good fortune of listening to so many of our LGBTQ friends as they have explored their life journey.

    Consider Your Commitment to Respect

  • Respect is virtually mutual; whatever respect we show in others is same respect they show in us.
  • Consider what philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel once said, “There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.”
  • Add the thought of novelist Lawrence Sterne’s thoughts to this. “Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.
  • And novelist Antoine de-Saint Exupery adds this thought, “I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him {or her}; it is what he {or her} thinks of himself {or herself}. To undermine a man {or woman’s} self-respect is a sin.”

    Consider These Ideas for Showing Respect to the LGBTQ Community

  • Pull back the magnifying glass will help you see the bigger picture of respect’s real beauty, found when respect actually becomes mutual.
  • Use the LGBTQ’s proper gender pronouns, show repsect for how they choose to present themselves and help go into their world rather than having them continually come into yours. This generates a common ground that benefits both of you.
  • Be an ally in creating worldwide equality by helping break down barriers. Help others understand the peace and joy that comes to all of us when we each do our part to make room for everyone within our shared life journey.

    Help Your LGBTQ Loved One Seek Professional Mental Support as Needed

    After all the support you’ve shown, you find your loved one is still struggling, help them understand the amazing help available. A good therapist, like East West Therapy, knows the journey, because we’ve helped so many walk this way before. We listen and are there for you, in a safe environment, where all your thoughts, worries, highest highs and lowest lows will be explored and resolved.

    Contact East West Therapy Hawaii today, at (213) 880 8262, and let us help you with your personal life journey or discover ways to maintain your relationship with your loved ones, no matter what their particular life journey might be.