Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


CHEW on this: Coming out and Mental Health


In honor of National Coming Out Week and World Mental Health Day, we wanted to write about Coming Out, as well as the mental health struggles that many in the LGBT community may face or have already faced.

In a study by the creators of the Family Acceptance Project, they found that "LGBT teens that were highly rejected by their parents and caregivers were at very high risk for health and mental health problems when they become young adults (ages 21-25).

Highly rejected young people were:
More than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide
Nearly six times as likely to report high levels of depression".

This study found that a way to reduce these issues was to provide a safe and supportive environment.  This particular study was speaking to caregivers and parents, but in an environment where parents are sparse and classmates and peers are caregivers, like a college campus, could the same also be true?

Another study found that to reduce the mental health struggles an environment should be supportive and positive through things like refusing to accept the teasing and bullying of LGBT students.  Teasing, bullying, and the like can be detrimental to students' feeling of safety and overall security and comfort in their environment.  Instead, by showing respect and providing a safe space for each person to live and breathe, we can foster a supportive community that encourages people to be themselves and come out, as they feel comfortable and ready.

While we continue to work on making our campus a safe and supportive community- know that there are already safe places out there.  Consider checking out the Counseling Center if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues.  There are a number of group therapy options, including an LGBT focused group, as well as individual counseling.  APTT is a student group that is there to listen.  Consider checking them out and talking to someone who is trained to listen to you.  

Being at Hopkins isn't easy, and piling on a mental health issue can make things even more of a stuggle.  Consider asking for help and know that you aren't alone.