Quarantine with parents can strain mental health of LGBTQ youth

Before the pandemic began, LGBTQ people “had issues associated with their mental and emotional health in a greater proportion than the general population, with manifestations such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, etc.” That can be worsened by “confinement in solitude or in family groups where they may experience gender violence.”

Rob Todaro, communications manager for the Trevor Project, which operates a 24-hour crisis hotline for LGBTQ youth, explained that according to a recent Morning Consult survey, one-third of LGBTQ young people in the United States said they couldn’t be themselves at home, and one-third of transgender and nonbinary youth felt unsafe with their life situation since the beginning of COVID-19.

Cynthia Ruffin, director of Colors LGBTQ Youth Counseling Services, which offers free mental health services to LGBTQ people younger than 25, said her organization’s waiting list has doubled during the pandemic.

Todaro and Ruffin have recommendations if mental and emotional health suffers during the pandemic: Keep a support network, establish a routine, and connect with nature. These recommendations can help you and help guide families, caregivers and other supporters.

What are some signs that an LGBTQ person needs professional help for mental or emotional health?

Key warning signs, Ruffin said, include a person feeling alone or isolated, sad and not wanting to go out or talk to anyone. Other warning signs include excessive social media use, especially interacting with much older people, and excessive drug and alcohol use.

via LA Times