LGBTQ: Stigma Bullying and Depression


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Mental Health outlook on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Queer population as it relates to stigma, bullying, and depression.

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LGBTQ: Stigma Bullying and Depression

  1. 1. LGBTQ Population: Stigma, Bullying, and Depression
  2. 2. Put yourself into the shoes of LGBTQ... Imagine you were sitting on the couch on the weekends and saw this TV commercial… How would you feel or react? **Quick Note: HB 436 is the bill for same-sex marriage in New Hampshire
  3. 3. News “I used two bar magnets in my research. A bar magnet is a horizontal magnet that has the North Pole and the South Pole and when you bring two bar magnets and you bring the North Pole together you find that the two North Poles will not attract, they will repel, that is, they will push away themselves showing that a man should not attract a man.” Nigerian Student Uses Magnets To 'Prove' Gay Marriage Is Wrong
  4. 4. What do they experience? Some REAL STORIES...
  5. 5. The story of Jonah Mowry n3Ei-Lg
  6. 6. LGBTQ and Self- Disclosure ● Disclosing a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) identity to others, or ‘‘coming out,’’ has been shown in past research to be associated with mental health benefits (Legate, Ryan, & Weinstein, 2012). ● The LGBTQ population may anticipate stigmatization, negative judgements, and rejection. ● Stigmatization is defined as a mark of disgrace. ● Costs of concealment are also very stressful. ● Costs include lower relationship satisfaction in same- sex couples, emotional distress, and other mental health issues (Legate, Ryan, & Weinstein, 2012).
  7. 7. Bullying ● Bullying is defined as a specific form of aggressive behavior, which is intentional, repeated, and involves a disparity of power between the victim and perpetrators; within this context bullying consists of several different subgroups such as: Physical, Verbal, Relational, Social, and Cyber ● LGBTQ youth have admitted to experiencing bullying in all these subgroups, at much higher rates than their heterosexual counterparts ● GLSEN released a study on LGBTQ youth and cyberbullying and found: 42% of LBGTQ youth reported being harassed or bullied online, this is three times more than non-LGBTQ youth, while 27% reported feeling unsafe online
  8. 8. Bullying ● Sometimes called the “invisible minority”, LGBTQ youth often cite extreme harassment and bullying for being open about their minority sexual orientation and gender non conforming ● Victimization of LGBTQ youth continue to be a prevalent problem within the U.S school systems ● Bullying and harassment are systemic problems in schools that affect adolescents, and this is especially true for sexual minority youth (Wernick, Kulick, & Inglehart, 2013). ● Researchers indicate nearly a third of transgender youth reported being verbally harassed by teachers or staff in a K-12 school, 5% reported being physically assaulted by these adults and 3% reported being sexually assaulted
  9. 9. Bullying • A national study found that most LGBTQ (64%) students feel unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation and over one-third (40%) felt unsafe because of their gender identity (Wernick, Kulick, & Inglehart, 2013). • Although most bullying incidents occur at school, bullying also can occur out-of-school, such as on their way to school, at home, and other public places • ABC’s What Would You Do Gay Bullying
  10. 10. Effects of Bullying ● Most LGBTQ students (65% to 85%) report experiencing harassment or bullying based on their perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression (Wernick, Kulick, & Inglehart, 2013). ● Bullying has been linked to a number of negative mental health and academic outcomes including fear, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-injurious behaviors, lower academic performance, school avoidance, and dropping out (Wernick, Kulick, & Inglehart, 2013).
  11. 11. LGBTQ and Depression ● LGBTQ individuals have been found to be at greater risk than heterosexuals for developing depression due to exposure to societal stigma, prejudice, discrimination, bullying, and verbal/physical attacks (Birnholz & Young, 2012) (Hoffman, Freeman, & Swann, 2009). ● LGBTQ adolescents experience higher levels of isolation, runaway behavior, homelessness, domestic violence, violent victimization, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation more so than heterosexual and gender-conforming youth (Hoffman, Freeman, & Swann, 2009). ● Mental illness is still stigmatized in our society and so is being part of the LGBTQ community. An LGBTQ individual with depression may be in the unfortunate position of having to contend with dual stigmas which subsequently negatively affects their mental health.
  12. 12. Suicide & Considerations for the LGBTQ community:
  13. 13. Recent history: Suicide’s Tyler Clementi: Was an 18-year-old student at Rutgers University. After his roommate recorded his “private time,” with a male companion, he decided to commit suicide by jumping off the GWB. Tyler came out to his parents prior to leaving for school. Date: September, 2010. Jamey Rodemeyer: Was 14-years-old at the time of his suicide by hanging. Reasoning for killing himself were constant bullying at school. Jamey was an activist for anti-gay bullying. He had support from his family. Date: September, 2011. Jaime Hubley: A 15-year-old student from Canada, was dealing with depression stemming from anti-gay bullying at school. Date: October, 2011.
  14. 14. Considerations that play into elevated suicide risk - Members of the LGBTQ community are likely at a higher risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other mental health issues. Because of this they are more likely to be at risk of dual stigma. - Internalized Homophobia: Individuals turn societies negative views about them inward. - Family is critical in their well being. Research has shown that the higher the family support the less at risk LGBTQ youth are of suicide. How ever opposite of this is when family is unwelcoming of the child’s sexual orientation. When family abuses the individual either verbally, physically or psychologically the risk of suicide is elevated. 40% of callers to the the Trevor Helpline report issues with family. - In more extreme cases families can go as far as disowning their child, in which they end up homeless.
  15. 15. Statistics - 28.1% of gay or bisexual males in grades 7-12 had attempted suicide at least once during their lives in comparison to 4.2% of heterosexual males in those grades. 20.5% for lesbian or bisexual females in comparison to 14.5% for heterosexual females. (Remafedi, French, Story, Resnick & Blum, 1998.) - Safaren and Heimberg (1999) report that 30% of LGB youth vs. 13% heterosexual youth (average age of about 18) had attempted suicide at one point. - Eisenberg and Resnick (2006) 47.3% of GB adolescent boys and 72.9% of LB adolescent girls reported suicidal ideation, compared with 34.7% of non-GB boys and 53% non-LB girls. * Point of interest - Interesting that more adolescent girls are thinking of suicide than boys, but more boys are acting on their thoughts.
  16. 16. Concerns w/homosexuality in schools - Are there enough qualified counselors in schools that can address homosexuality? - Are schools teaching students that homosexuality is a normal variation of sexual behavior?
  17. 17. Treatment of the LGBTQ Population
  18. 18. Mental Health Treatment • Over the past 40 years, the attitudes of mental health professionals have shown a positive change towards LGBTQ populations. • A 2005 study found that 58% of psychologists supported a gay-affirmative stance in therapy, compared to only 5% in 1991 • Despite these positive changes in attitudes, however, many mental health professionals still report a lack of focus and training on LGBTQ issues. • Recent studies suggest that gay, lesbian, and bisexual populations are actually more likely to report using therapy or counseling than heterosexual groups.
  19. 19. Multicultural Disparities in Mental Health Treatment • Studies on the effectiveness of LGBTQ treatment have been predominantly done on white samples. • African American, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander and other ethnic and racial minorities must face racism and homophobia. • Underrepresentation of people of color in the mental health professions • Lack of inclusion of Bisexual and transgender orientations • Rural Populations • Limited research on those with severe mental illness
  20. 20. Guidelines for Practice • Assess the Degree of LGBTQ Identity Development o Cass’s Model of Identity Development (Cass, 1979, 1984a, 1984b) o Early stages (1-3) are at higher risk • Assess Level of Disclosure o Less far along in identity development, less likely to disclose o Respect the client’s level of outness o Explore costs and benefits of coming out • Assess for Safety o Often present for services at a point where safety is an issue o Crisis Intervention may be indicated • Provide Accurate Educational Information o Minimal factual information is generally provided within education system
  21. 21. Guidelines for Practice • Establish a Supportive LGBTQ Environment o Display openness and acceptance o Appropriate language • Advocate for Enhanced Social Services o Lack of services for LGBTQ youth • Advocate for More Supportive School Environments o Counselor awareness of hostile school environment o Advocate for non-discrimination policies, zero tolerance, teacher, staff staff training, etc. • Advocate for Social Change
  22. 22. Effective Treatments • Cognitive Therapy o Help diminish their stigma related feelings of depression and anxiety o Identify, label, evaluate, and correct distorted thoughts and beliefs o Replace with less self-defeating and more realistic thoughts • Externalization o LGBTQ youth have often grown to believe that homosexuality is shameful and wrong o Counselor should identify negative and inaccurate beliefs that reflect internalized homophobia o Replace beliefs by shifting blame for these ideas on a stigmatizing society o Reduce emotional distress by attributing negative messages to other external sources of prejudice
  23. 23. Resources for LGBTQ Youth
  24. 24. References Legate, N., Ryan, R. M., & Weinstein, N. (2012). Is coming out always a 'good thing'? exploring the relations of autonomy support, outness, and wellness for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Social Psychological And Personality Science, 3(2), 145-152. Wernick, L. J., Kulick, A., & Inglehart, M. H. (2013). Factors predicting student intervention when witnessing anti- LGBTQ harassment: The influence of peers, teachers, and climate. Children And Youth Services Review, 35(2), 296- 301.
  25. 25. References Suicide Prevention Resource Center. (2008). Suicide risk and prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Newton, MA: Education Development Center, Inc. LaSala, M. (2006). Cognitive and Environmental Interventions for gay males: addressing stigma and it’s consequences. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services. Disparities in Mental Health Treatment among GLBT Populations NAMI Multicultural Action Center • June 2007