A Get-Started Guide to LGBT Mental Health Resources

lgbt mental health
Cassie Sheets

The shooting at Pulse in Orlando was a horrifying experience for everyone in the LGBT community, whether we had personal ties or not. Here’s a quick guide to mental health resources for short and long-term healthcare. Please add any additional resources in the comments below.

Crisis Hotlines and Text and Chat Services

trevor project
1) The Trevor Project
What is it?
A non-judgmental hotline with LGBT-sensitive trained counselors you can contact through a call, text, or chat during a mental health crisis and/or suicidal thoughts. Available in the United States.

Contact information:
a) Trevor Lifeline
866-488-7386
Available 24/7
Free

b) TrevorText
Text the word “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200
Available Thursday and Friday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET
Standard messaging rates apply

c) TrevorChat
Enter the online portal on The Trevor Project’s website.
Available 7 days a week, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET
Free

2) Trans Lifeline
What is it?
A 24/7 hotline available in the U.S. and Canada staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline is primarily for transgender people in a crisis, from struggling with gender identity to thoughts of self-harm.

Contact information:
a) United States
877-565-8860
Available 24/7

b) Canada
877-330-6366
Available 24/7

3) GLBT National Help Center
What is it?
The GLBT National Hotline provides telephone, online chat, and email peer-support. They speak with callers of all ages about bullying, workplace issues, HIV/AIDS anxiety, coming out, relationships, safer sex, and more. They also have a massive resource database for social and support groups, gay-friendly religious organizations, sports, leagues, student groups, and more.

Contact information:
a) Toll-Free National Hotline
1-888-843-4564
Monday – Friday 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET
Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET

b) Youth Talkline
1-800-246-7743
Monday – Friday 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET
Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET
For teens and young adults up to age 25

c) Online Peer-Support Chat
Monday – Friday 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET
Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET
One-on-one confidential peer support; not for casual chatting.
Chat here.

d) Trans Teens Online Talk Group
Weekly moderated group for trans teens ages 12 – 19
Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. ET
Join the group here.

e) The Gay & Lesbian Switchboard of New York
212-989-0999
Monday – Friday 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET
Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET
NYC hotline providing peer-support and information on local resources

4) Fenway Health Helpline
What is it?
Fenway Health provides information, help, and referrals to LGBT callers. They also have a peer listening line.

Contact information:
a) LGBT Helpline (25+)
617-267-9001
Toll-free: 888-340-4528
Monday – Saturday 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET

b) Peer Listening Line (25 and under)
617-267-2535
Toll-free: 800-399-PEER
Monday – Saturday 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET

Where Can I Find LGBT-Friendly Therapists?

lgbt therapists
1) The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association’s Provider Directory
Use the GLMA’s free Provider Directory to search for LGBT-friendly healthcare professionals (from therapists to dentists) in your area. Check with each provider to confirm that they accept your insurance or offer a sliding scale fee.

2) Check the Association for LGBT Issues in Counseling’s Therapist Listings
This list is less comprehensive, but you may be able to find an LGBT-friendly provider in your state. Only ALGBTIC members and therapists can apply to list their services.

3) Search Members of The Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists
AGLP’s Online Referral System helps you find a psychiatric referral in your area by searching your city, state, zip code, and keywords.

4) Search GLBT Near Me (A Program of the GLBT National Help Center)
GLBT Near Me allows you to enter your zip code and search different categories, including health, professional, recovery, and crisis which can all contain information on LGBT-friendly mental health providers or centers where you can get a referral.

5) Gaylesta: The Psychotherapist Association for Gender & Sexual Diversity
Gaylesta has a handy referral service for providers with a range of training and experience specializing in the LGBT community. You can search by location, specific issues (including bipolar disorder, HIV/AIDS, abuse, and ADHD), and techniques (from psychoanalysis to drama therapy). 

Where Can I Find Support Groups?

lgbt support group
1) Visit your local LGBT center.
Find an LGBT center near you through CenterLink or GLBT Near Me. Many LGBT centers offer weekly or monthly support groups, or can refer you to somewhere nearby that offers that service.

2) Alcoholics Anonymous
Visit Gays and Lesbians in Alcoholics Anonymous (GaL-AA) to search for a meeting near you. You can also search specifically for meetings for transgender people in AA.

3) Join an online support group.
If you’re having trouble finding support groups in your area, check out online resources like Empty Closets, or Support Groups (which has a gay and lesbian section).

Please share any additional resources or providers who have helped you in the comments below. If you are struggling to process or cope with recent events, know that you are not alone. The shooting at Pulse was an act of hate, intended to disrupt and scare our community, but prioritizing your mental health is a defiant, revolutionary act.

We are survivors, and we will live full and happy lives. 

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