by Anna Harissis
The LGBTQ+ community is strong. And even the strongest people struggle with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. In fact, our community is disproportionately at-risk for mental health struggles because of the discrimination and prejudice we’re often up against with our family, friends, and greater communities. If you have depression, formally diagnosed or not, you may experience thoughts of suicide at one point. While the emotional pain may feel overwhelming during these moments, it does not mean that you have to lose control or act on these thoughts.
What can you do to keep yourself safe?
- Make your safety plan.
A safety plan is a series of written instructions that can be used when you’re dealing with severe feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts. Download this template to get started.
- Join a local support group and find mental health resources.
There are many ways you can build yourself a network of mental health support. First, if you have insurance, identify a therapist on your plan who specializes in working with the LGBTQ+ community or the mental health struggles that impact you the most. If you don’t have insurance, many new therapy apps have been created to provide lower-cost options, including Better Help, Mood Health, Cerebral, and Pride Counseling. There are also free online apps that promote mental health that you can download now. Mental Health of America also provides a list of support groups based on interest and need, and the sober community can find additional resources here.
- *In critical times of need, you should search for a local crisis center near you. Crisis centers are often free and can provide immediate intervention when you need it most.
- Save the phone numbers of free LGBTQ hotlines into your phone.
Many organizations have come together over the years to provide the LGBTQ community with free resources for when we’re in need of support. Take a few minutes to review our resources below and save a couple in your phone.
Here are some free and immediate resources that you can depend on when you need support.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
The Lifeline is available for everyone, is free, and confidential. If you’re thinking about suicide or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.
Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor:
- Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline: (888) 843-4564
- The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) National Hotline provides telephone, online private one-to-one chat, and email peer-support, as well as factual information and local resources for cities and towns across the United States.
Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860
- Trans Lifeline provides trans peer support for the community. They’re run by and for trans people with more than 100,000 calls answered.
The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)
- Feeling alone and unheard can potentially place you in a dangerous situation. You may feel isolated from support, and this isolation can lead to depression, anger, frustration, and suicidal ideation. Each team member is prepared to listen to your story, help you handle a crisis, and guide you to solutions that will improve your situation.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be accessed via the nationwide number 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or (206) 518-9361 (video phone only for deaf callers).
- It provides information and assistance to adult and youth victims of family violence, domestic violence, or dating violence, family and household members, and other persons such as domestic violence advocates, government officials, law enforcement agencies, and the general public.
Social Media & Suicide - socialmediavictims.org/social-media-and-suicide/