A shareable graphic for social media, websites, and beyond. “Many LGBT people—particularly youth and seniors—experience higher rates of rejection, bullying, harassment, general mistreatment and even violence from the people and institutions that should be protecting them,” says Delores A. Jacobs, chief executive officer of the San Diego LGBT Community Center. “The enormous effort of… hiding in order to avoid rejection from their families, employers, churches, schools, friends and neighbors can create an even greater sense of anxiety, fear and isolation.”
Tessa Torgeson shares her personal experience as a member of the LGBT+ community who is also in recovery from addiction. “For myself, the intersections of addiction and LGBT identity are so complex… We weren't given the social or political power to have public space. So, bars and underground clubs were our space... so addiction can sometimes become a learned behavior. For me, it was alcohol. I used it to suppress my identity.”
The Anti-Stigma Project defines Double Stigma as: how the stigma associated with race, religion, age, sexual orientation, etc. is compounded by an additional layer of stigma related to behavioral health challenges. This article from the New York Times illustrates how stigma associated with the LGBTQIA+ experience can affect behavioral health and access to behavioral health services, and the strong psycho-social impacts of removing that stigma. Click the title to access the full article from the New York Times.
“Transgender and non-binary individuals have higher rates of depression and thoughts about suicide. They are also significantly more likely to attempt suicide. These increased rates are not due to being transgender, but from dealing with stigma, lack of acceptance and abuse.” Click the title to access the full article from Medical Express.
This article from the Philly Voice discusses what stigma is, how it influences our understanding of mental wellness, and what we can do to challenge it’s impact and work toward a healthy dialogue about mental health with the older adults in our lives.
The Georgetown University School of Nursing shares a number of statistics on older adult mental health specifically around anxiety, depression, and suicide rates.
“For years, geriatricians and researchers have sounded the alarm about the use of benzodiazepines among older adults… Now the opioid epidemic has generated fresh warnings, because pain relievers like Vicodin (hydrocodone with Tylenol) and OxyContin (oxycodone) are also frequently prescribed for older people. When patients take both, they’re at risk for overdosing… But fatal overdoses — which are a comparatively tiny number given the size of the older population — represent just one of many longtime concerns about these medications.”
Research shows that the most effective way to combat stigma is through education and contact, making intergenerational relationships a strong tool for fighting ageism and behavioral health stigma. Plus, there are a number of mental and physical health benefits.
The Mental Health Association of Maryland is fighting distorted perceptions around mental health and aging with this educational guidebook. It covers a wide array of topics for older adults and caregivers alike, offering great information about brain health and some of the challenges that may come later in life.
Click the title to access the full PDF version or head to www.mdaging.org for more information on aging, behavioral health, or how to start a "Guidebook Study Group" to help bring this important information to your community. Click Read More to access some of our favorite Guidebook quotes, formatted perfectly for sharing on social media and beyond.