Recovery is possible, treatment is effective and no one who suffers from a mental health or substance use disorder should ever feel hopeless. That’s the focus and the message of National Recovery Month, celebrated in September to raise awareness about mental health and substance use disorders and celebrate those who recover.
One community that faces unique challenges for recovery is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer – or LGBTQ — community. Studies, such as this one from Columbia University, have shown that LGBTQ individuals are 2.5 times more likely to have a mental health disorder at some point in their lives when compared to heterosexuals. Lesbian women are more likely to experience major mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression than straight women, and LGBTQ young adults abuse substances at a rate that is up to three times higher than heterosexuals, depending on the substance.