Mental health is finally beginning to get the attention it deserves. From popular national campaigns like Bell’s “Let’s Talk” to the government of Alberta’s recent Mental Health Review, people are finally beginning to understand the impact that one’s mental health has on the rest of an individual’s life, including one’s physical health. The conversation becomes even more important when we turn our attention to GBQT men, a group which has been shown to experience negative mental health outcomes at significantly higher rates than the general population. In one systematic review of 199 studies comparing the mental health of sexual minorities to that of the heterosexual population, they found that sexual minorities experienced an elevated risk for depression (89% of studies), suicide (98% of studies), anxiety disorder (83% of studies), and substance abuse (93% of studies).1 Another review of 25 studies from 1966-2005 aimed to quantify the elevated risk, finding that sexual minorities were two times more likely to attempt suicide, 1.5 times more likely to experience depression and anxiety, and a 1.5 times more likely to struggle with alcohol and substance dependence.2 One of the main reasons why GBQT men experience such higher rates of mental health challenges is minority stress. In addition to regular stressors, minorities also face socially stressful environments created by prejudice, discrimination, and stigma.3 For example, pretty much anyone can relate to financial stress or the stress felt after the end of a serious relationship but minorities face additional stress brought on by situations like fearing homophobic violence, being rejected by friends or family members, and not being allowed to use the restroom that matches their gender identity.
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- Plöderl, Martin, and Pierre Tremblay. “Mental Health of Sexual Minorities. A Systematic Review.” International Review of Psychiatry5 (2015): 367-85.
- King, Michael, Joanna Semlyen, Sharon Tai, Helen Killaspy, David Osborn, Dmitri Popelyuk, and Irwin Nazareth. “A Systematic Review of Mental Disorder, Suicide, and Deliberate Self Harm in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People.” BMC Psychiatry1 (2008): 70.
- Meyer, Ilan H. “Prejudice, Social Stress, and Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations: Conceptual Issues and Research Evidence.” Psychological Bulletin5 (2003): 674-97.
- Family Resilience Project: Free short-term client-centred counseling for sexual and gender minority children, youth and families. Contact Tamara Gartner at [email protected] or (780) 248-1971.
- Trans and Gender-Questioning Youth Support Group: Social/support group for trans* and gender questioning 16-25 year olds. Last Tuesday of each month, 4:30-6:30pm @ U of A (Education North 5-109)
- PFLAG: Support group for parents, guardians, caregivers, friends, and loved ones of sexual and gender minority youth. Last Wednesday of each month, 6-8pm @ U of A (Education North 5-180)
- TTIQ: A peer support group for Trans and gender diverse adults. Supporters welcome.Second Monday of every month from 7-9pm @ the Pride Centre
- Trans Youth Group: A fun facilitated peer support group for Trans and Gender Diverse youth age 12-24. Supporters welcome. ThirdMonday of every month from 7-9pm @ the Pride Centre
- Men’s Social Circle: Open to all male identified Queer and Trans persons.First and ThirdThursday of every month from 7-9pm @ the Pride Centre
- Men Talking With Pride: Social discussion group for gay and bisexual Every Sunday7-9pm @ the Pride Centre
- LGBTQ+ AA Meeting: Every otherTuesdayfrom 7-8:30pm @ the Pride Centre
- Guided Meditation: A one hour themed guided meditation experience. Third Thursdayof every monthfrom 5:30-6:30pm @ the Pride Centre
- Bible Queeries: A queer Bible study on the first Sunday of each month at McDougall United Church at 7pm
- Soul OUTing: An interfaith, alternative faith-sharing circle on the second Sunday of each month at Roberston-Wesley United Church at 7 pm
- Haven: An LGBTQ evangelical Christian worship service on the third Sunday of each month at McDougall United Church at 7 pm