Studies show individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ are six times more likely to experience symptoms of depression and twice as likely to experience suicidal ideation compared to their heterosexual peers. This Pride Month, Valley Oaks Health recognizes the importance of creating safe spaces where the experiences and mental health of the LGBTQ+ community are prioritized so we can curb these troubling trends.
The history of Pride Month
In 1969, demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community were held in Manhattan in response to the police raid of Stonewall Inn. This week-long protest became known as the Stonewall Riots and is recognized as a tipping point for the gay rights movement.
Ever since, communities around the world have recognized June as “Pride Month,” bringing awareness and acceptance around the LGBTQ+ community.
Today, Pride Month is a celebration of the progress made by activists since the Stonewall Riots and a recognition of the continued struggle for equality.
Throughout the month, members of the LGBTQ+ community gather alongside their allies as they march, cheer and celebrate their identity and strength. However, despite existing social prejudices, the LGBTQ+ community continues to fight and demonstrate unity, acceptance and compassion.
One of the most difficult steps for these individuals is coming out to friends and family. Many live in paralyzing fear that uttering the words “I’m gay” will be met with disdain and rejection. This is why Valley Oaks Health is committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community and raising awareness and acceptance so they can live authentic lives where their mental health thrives without concern for safety or discrimination.