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White Swan Foundation for Mental Health, a non-profit organization committed to delivering knowledge services on mental health, has released an ebook on the mental healthcare of the LGBTQIA+ community.

India has always been home to many marginalized communities, though their existence and experiences are not always recognized by others. The vulnerability of the LGBTQIA+ community to mental health issues because of stigma, isolation, discrimination and the lack of access to mental health resources is high. Research and data further point to an urgent need to have conversations about their mental health. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness in the United States, people from the LGBTQIA+ community are:

  • three times as likely to have a major mental health condition (major depressive disorder/generalized anxiety disorder)
  • four times as likely to have thoughts of suicide or attempts of suicide
  • at a greater risk of substance abuse

White Swan Foundation believes that the ebook, ​Mental Health 101: LGBTQIA+ Edition​, will serve the knowledge needs of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. This ebook will be beneficial for anyone who is looking for a basic understanding of mental health in the LGBTQIA+ community, what emotional distress looks like, how to seek help, and offer support as an ally. It aims to open conversations about the mental health impact of social discrimination and attitudes towards the LGBTQIA+ community. The ebook has been put together with guidance and inputs from the community, allies and mental health experts.

“Every identity across the spectrums of sex, gender and sexuality under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella is unique and have their own concerns on mental health. While this book doesn’t cover all identities and concerns, it is a great primer for anyone interested in understanding the overlays of mental health, social and cultural contexts and LGBTQIA+ communities,” says Mahesh Natarajan, counselor, InnerSight Counseling and Training Services, Bangalore.

“Despite the fact that mental health issues can be addressed, a major reason why members of the LGBTQIA+ community endure its challenges is the lack of knowledge and awareness of mental healthcare among us in society. It is only by acquiring right knowledge that we can change our perceptions and beliefs,” said Manoj Chandran, CEO, White Swan Foundation. He added, “White Swan Foundation’s ebook edition on LGBTQIA+ mental health is part of our continuing efforts to offer people access to the right knowledge so that we come together to create an inclusive world.”

The ebook can be downloaded free on the White Swan Foundation website beginning here.