Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth During the Holiday Season
The holidays can be a challenging time for anyone, but they can be particularly difficult for LGBTQ+ youth. This is a time when they are often expected to spend time with family members who may not accept them, and when they are bombarded with messages about what it means to be “normal.” For many LGBTQ+ youth, the holidays are a time of stress and anxiety.
This is especially true if they are not able to be open about their sexuality or gender identity with their families and friends. According to the Trevor Project, LGBTQ+ young people are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline reports that the number of calls from LGBTQ+ people increases during the holidays, which is a great cause for concern as we consider risk factors during the holiday season.
There are many things that can contribute to LGBTQ+ youth mental health concerns during the holidays. Some of these include:
-Fearing rejection from family and friends
-Worrying about how to come out to loved ones
-Feeling left out or alone when everyone around them is celebrating
-Experiencing discrimination or bullying from classmates, family members, or strangers
In addition, the holidays can be a time of isolation and loneliness for many people. Individuals within the LGBTQ+ community may feel like they don’t fit in with their families or friends, or feel as though they have to hide their authentic identity. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.
The holidays can be a lonely time, but it’s important not to isolate yourself from your friends and family with whom you do feel comfortable with. Reach out to the people who love and support you, and make sure to spend time with them. They can provide the support and comfort you need during this time.
If you are an LGBTQ+ youth, it is important to know that you are not alone. There are people who care about you and want to help. There are also many resources available to you, including mental health professionals, support groups, and online resources. It’s important to not bottle up your emotions.
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, talk to someone about it. Talk to your friends, family members, or a counselor. Talking about your feelings will help to reduce the stress and anxiety that you’re feeling. If you are a parent or caregiver of an LGBTQ+ youth, it is important to be supportive and understanding that each person will have their own anxieties, stresses and strengths in order to cope during this time of year.
The holidays can be a time of intense pressure to conform to traditional gender roles and expectations. But don’t be afraid to be yourself. Be proud of who you are, and celebrate your unique identity. Reach out to other LGBTQ+ people online or in your community. There is strength in numbers, and you will feel supported and understood. You might also consider creating your own traditions. The holidays don’t have to be about traditional family celebrations. You can celebrate in your own way, with your own unique rituals and ideals for this time of year.
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