One Colorado’s Focus on Mental Health During LGBTQ Health Awareness Week

Denver, CO — One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, released the following statements on mental health during LGBTQ Health Awareness Week:

“One of the most shocking data points that came out of One Colorado’s ‘Closing the Gap’ health report, is that the mental health of LGBTQ Coloradans has actually worsened since our last statewide survey in 2011. About half of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer respondents and three-quarters of transgender respondents reported feeling depressed, down, and/or having little pleasure or interest in doing things at least several days of the month. In addition to continuing our work of building a supportive community of LGBTQ Coloradans and allies, we need to increase access to quality, affordable, and comprehensive mental health services in order to address this growing concern.”

– Daniel Ramos, One Colorado Executive Director

“Studies show LGBTQ youth are more likely to die by suicide than heterosexual youth. They are also far more likely to face bullying and harassment. Suicide and bullying threats are among the top three tips that Safe2Tell receives each month. All youth should know they can report threats to Safe2Tell, which is a safe and anonymous way to report safety concerns regarding themselves or others. I commend One Colorado for their efforts to protect LGBTQ youth around the state. We need more engagement and advocacy around mental health and wellness to save and improve the lives of young people in Colorado.”

– Phil Weiser, Colorado Attorney General

Mental health resources for LGBTQ Coloradans and their families:

  • Safe2Tell An anonymous way for students, parents, school staff and community members to report concerns regarding their safety or the safety of others.

  • Trevor Project  The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

  • The Center support groups Among its other programs for LGBTQ Coloradans, The Center offers support groups for transgender, non-binary, and other folks seeking support.

  • Community Care Collective provides care in a wide variety of situations, including conditions ranging from common colds to autoimmune diseases, from managing daily stress to improving family dynamics, from preparing to give birth to supporting children through all stages of growth.

  • Colorado Crisis Services provides free, confidential, professional and immediate support for any mental health, substance use or emotional concern, 24/7/365. Call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional.

LGBTQ Health Awareness Week, recognized March 23rd – March 27th, is a week-long observance to bring awareness to the unique health needs and disparities of the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ people encounter discrimination in employment, relationship recognition, and insurance coverage on a regular basis. Consequently, they are less likely to be able to afford critical health care than their straight and non-transgender peers. For LGBTQ people of color, barriers to care and health disparities are even greater. This is the 18th annual observance of LGBTQ Health Awareness Week.

Here are a few important data points from One Colorado’s Closing the Gap report:

  • Nearly one in three LGBQ respondents and half of transgender respondents say that their mental health was not good 14 of the previous 30 days, compared to 12 percent of the general population.

  • About half of LGBQ respondents reported feeling depressed, down, and/or having little pleasure or interest in doing things at least several days of the month. About 75 percent of transgender respondents reported these emotions at least several days of the month, with 16 percent reporting feeling down, depressed, or hopeless nearly every day.