As we enter Pride Month, the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) would like to stress the importance of accessible mental health care for the LGBTQ+ community. Art therapists, as mental health professionals, strive to provide a sense of safety and openness to their clients, especially those vulnerable to stigma and discrimination.
There is still much systemic work to be done to ensure the well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly as new, harmful policies are on the rise across the country. In 2021 alone, a record 147 anti-transgender bills were introduced, twice as many as the year before, according to the Human Rights Campaign. We continue to be outraged by the onslaught of state legislation prohibiting gender-affirming care for transgender youth and banning transgender youth from participating in sports teams according to their gender identity. AATA opposes policies that would harm the mental health of transgender youth, and strongly urges lawmakers to oppose such proposals, including those that prohibit gender-affirming health care or ban participation in sports. Additionally, AATA stands in strong opposition to the national trend of anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, including the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” legislation signed into law this year in Florida and other states .
Whether you are a part of the LGBTQ+ community or have LGBTQ+ clients, peers, friends, and family, we encourage you to check out and share the following resources.
LGBTQ+ Mental Health Resources
The Trevor Project: If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the Trevor Lifeline now at 866-488-7386.
It Gets Better: Identified over 1100 organizations in 40+ countries around the world offering support to LGBTQ+ youth.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) National Help Center: Serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning community by providing free and confidential peer support and local resources.
Trans Lifeline: a grassroots hotline and microgrants 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources and best practices for professionals.
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network: GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies.
National Black Justice Coalition: NBJC is a national civil rights organization dedicated to empowering black LGBTQ individuals.
Asian and Pacific Island Family Pride: API-Family Pride is dedicated to ending the isolation of Asian and Pacific Islander families with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members through support, education, and dialog.
Somos Familia: Somos Familia builds leadership in Latinx families and communities to create a culture where people of diverse genders and sexual orientations can thrive.
2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health: the Trevor Project’s fourth annual survey reflects the experiences of 34,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 across the United States.