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LGBTQ+ Mental Health: Self-Care

For LGBT+ History Month, Bandy, Welfare Officer, has worked with Lennox, Trans Officer, and Kush, LGBQ+ Officer, to pull together some educational content surrounding LGBTQ+ mental health, as well as providing tips and resources for self-care support.

Things that might affect LGBT+ mental health

  • Deadnaming is the use of the birth or other former name (i.e. a name that is "dead") of a transgender or non-binary person without their consent.
  • Coming out is a metaphor for LGBT people's self-disclosure of their sexual orientation or of their gender identity, this may cause loss of family and friends.
  • No access to the correct bathrooms: Some bathrooms is not trans inclusive, and this makes it difficult to access basic necessities. For non-binary people (do not full identify as male or female) they may feel unsafe to use gendered toilet facilities.
  • Safety concerns: 1 in 5 LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months.

Self-care for the LGBTQ+ Community

  • Joining LGBT+ specific groups such as the LGBTQ+ societies can foster a sense of community and belonging to a person.
  • Volunteering helps build a person’s self-efficacy and confidence by seeing what a positive impact they can have on others. Student Activities have many volunteering opportunities available.
  • Taking care of physical health also helps your mental health. Making sure you are getting your five a day, enough sleep and moving your body regularly always helps better to regulate emotions.
  • Avoid taking recreational drugs and monitor your alcohol intake. It is well known that these have adverse effects on our mood. Check out Bandy’s recent video on how illicit drugs affects your mental health.
  • Look after sexual health: after contact with a new sexual partner, it is very important to get tested regularly. You can now get a test sent to your home. Please check out the Safe Sex Berkshire website.

How can we support our student community?

  • It is very important maintain support spaces for our LGBTQ+ friends. This can be done by encouraging them to join spaces like the LGBTQ+ society and sharing the discord, Facebook and RUSU LGBTQ+ Community Group.
  • Educating our non-LGBT peers about the issues our community faces and how to support us. Ted Talk Videos are a great place to start.
  • Sharing resources for other support groups/spaces - SupportU, crisis hotlines, charities, counselling services via social media channels.
  • Sharing with your friends that the part-time Officers (LGBQ+ PTO and Trans PTO) are there as a point of contact.

Other Resources

RUSU’s LGBTQ+ Society will be hosting a series of events throughout February. To keep up-to-date on these events, follow the society on Instagram. Also, remember you can contact Lennox (Trans Officer), Kush (LGBQ+ Officer), Rachel Wates (Diversity Officer) and Bandy (Welfare Officer) at any time.