Born This Way Foundation reports sobering stats on LGBTQ youth mental health

Fri. November 5, 2021 8:46 AM by Gerald Farinas

born this way foundation

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Lady Gaga's organization studies LGBTQ youth in Las Vegas, Nev.

Born This Way Foundation, an organization that seeks to help the mental health of young people, issued a sobering report on the state of LGBTQ youth mental health. It highlights the lack of mental health resource accessibility in Las Vegas, Nev., and in turn, across the nation.

Founded by Lady Gaga and mother Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way studied young people ages 13 to 24 in Las Vegas. They were surveyed about their mental health.

While the study is centered around the desert metropolis, the study offers a hint of how big the shadow of the general LGBTQ mental health experience is nationwide. 

Born This Way explained that LGBTQ youth "are more likely to experience mental health challenges in 2021 than their non-LGBTQ counterparts."

However, they "are reporting higher rates of good to excellent mental health" in comparison to data from 2019.

Despite that, those numbers are still lower than non-LGBTQ peers.

According to the study, more than 60 percent of LGBTQ youth rarely or never discuss their mental health. This is a 20 percent increase from 2019.

Despite that, those who do discuss their mental health are twice as likely than their non-LGBTQ peers to do so with professionals like therapist over phone or text.

The study also found that "even though COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges and not all experiences were the same, more than 60 percent of Las Vegas youth don't feel like they can discuss their experiences because of the perception that no matter what they've gone through, someone else had it worse."

They continued, "67 percent of 13-17 year olds agreed with this sentiment, while a startling 70 percent of LGBTQ youth felt this way."

The study noted possible programs that could alleviate some of the problems discovered: the need for affordable mental health support; create programs that teach mental wellness support; create resources to help with bullying.

Also noted in the study is that 71 percent rely on peers and friends rather than family or mental health professionals when challenges present themselves.

A need to equip young people with peer support skills and resources is evident.

"46 percent of young people knew someone who attempted or died by suicide, compared to 37 percent who knew someone who died of COVID-19," Born This Way said.

"A majority of Black (62 percent) and LGBTQ youth (52 percent) knew more people in their community who attempted or died of suicide last year than of COVID-19 (39 percent and 43 percent respectively).

Cynthia Gemanotta said of the study, "This data is symbolic of what is happening in our communities throughout the country and while more youth are prioritizing their mental health, our research emphasized how crucial it is to do more to assist young people and meet them with the necessary tools and resources to support their mental health."