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LGBTQ+ Mental Health Resources for Teenagers

Introduction

LGBTQ+ Pride FlagWelcome! The purpose of this LibGuide is to provide thoroughly evaluated resources on mental health and wellness for LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) teens. It includes a variety of materials in different formats, such as nonfiction books, e-books, websites, and informational videos. The topics covered in these materials range from the societal factors that impact LGBTQ+ youth mental health to common issues faced by this demographic, such as depression. Additionally, some of the materials serve as guides to understanding gender identity and sexual orientation, and they feature interactive self-care and wellness exercises.

 

Note: This LibGuide and its contents are not substitutes for professional counseling. If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health, reach out to a specialist in your area.

Topic Overview

According to the Trevor Project's 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, 42% of LGBTQ youth considered suicide in the past year and 75% have experienced anti-LGBTQ discrimination at least once. However, the survey results also found that LGBTQ youth that felt supported at home, at school, and in online spaces reported lower rates of suicidal ideation. It is important that all teens, including those that are LGBTQ+, learn how to navigate difficult situations, find the necessary support, and create healthy practices to maintain and/or improve their mental health.

Glossary

This glossary provides definitions for common LGBTQ+ terms. Terms that are used throughout this LibGuide are listed below.

  • Gender Expression/Presentation: The external manifestations of gender, expressed through such things as names, pronouns, clothing, haircuts, behavior, voice, body characteristics, and more.
  • Gender Nonconforming: Someone whose gender identity and/or gender expression does not conform to the cultural or social expectations of gender, particularly in relation to male or female (see also Nonbinary). This can be an umbrella term for many identities.
  • Nonbinary: A person whose gender identity does not conform to the gender binary, which is the erroneous idea that only two distinct and opposite genders exist, male and female. In reality, many genders exist. Some nonbinary people identify with more than one gender, while others don't identify with any. There are many ways to be nonbinary, and everyone's experience with gender is different.
  • Transgender: Someone whose gender identity differs from the one that was assigned to them at birth. Many transgender people identify as either male or female, while others may see transgender as an umbrella term and identify as gender nonconforming or queer. How transgender people choose to express their gender is individualistic, as is their transition.

This glossary provides definitions for common LGBTQ+ terms. Terms that are used throughout this LibGuide are listed below.

  • Gender Dysphoria: Anxiety and/or discomfort regarding one's sex assigned at birth.
  • Transphobia: Systemic violence against trans people, associated with attitudes such as fear, discomfort, distrust, or disdain. This word is used similarly to homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, etc.
  • Body Dysmorphia: "Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) causes people to believe that parts of their body look ugly. People with BDD spend hours focused on what they think is wrong with their looks. Many times a day, they do things to check, fix, cover up, or ask others about their looks. They focus on flaws that seem minor to others" (KidsHealth, 2018)
  • Depression: "A mood disorder marked by varying degrees of sadness, despair, and loneliness that is typically accompanied by inactivity, guilt, loss of concentration, social withdrawal, sleep disturbances, and sometimes suicidal tendencies" (Merriam-Webster)
  • Mindfulness: "Mindfulness means paying full attention to something. It means taking your time to really notice what you're doing" (KidsHealth, 2017)
  • Resilience: "The ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens" (Merriam-Webster)
  • Ableism: "Discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities" (Merriam-Webster)
  • Discrimination: "The practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people" (Merriam-Webster)
  • Minority: "A part of a population differing from others in some characteristics and often subjected to differential treatment" (Merriam-Webster)
  • Stigma: "A set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something" (Merriam-Webster)