How to access mental health support if you have gender, sexuality or relationship diversity

Mental health problems are more common among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) people. If you are struggling, feel alone or need a little help, then check out our guide on how you can get the support you need.
Two women at a pride march with their arms round each other

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are more than twice as likely to have a mental health disorder or experience depression and anxiety. Poor mental health may be linked to experiences of discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, bullying, harassment, social isolation or rejection due to their sexuality.

It might not be easy, but getting the right help and support is essential.

Why choose specialist support?

Many people from the LGBTQIA+ community need help with their mental health that is not related to their gender or sexuality. However, seeking support from specialist services can still be a good idea. 

When you're looking for support, you don't want to encounter barriers such as having to spend a lot of time explaining your situation, or feeling like your gender or sexuality are an issue. 

Specialist support services can remove these barriers for you and help you to feel in a safe space to open up and get the support you need. 

What help is out there?

There is lots of advice and support out there for you.

Talking with a therapist who is trained to understand your specific situation may help if you:

  • Have difficulty accepting your sexual orientation.
  • Need help coping with other people’s reactions to you.
  • Feel like your body doesn’t reflect your true gender.
  • Are currently transitioning.
  • Are trying to cope with bullying or discrimination.
  • Are feeling depressed, have low self-esteem, are thinking suicidal thoughts or thinking about harming yourself.

There are different types of talking therapies, so you can find one to suit your needs. Treatments available on the NHS include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • Guided self-help.
  • Counselling.
  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

Read more about talking therapies

When should I get help?

You should be able to get help as soon as you feel like you need it. There are currently long waiting times for NHS services, so don’t wait until you feel at a crisis point to reach out for help.

If you feel at a crisis point already, you can always contact the Samaritans 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call 116 123


If you are experiencing an emergency or feel like your life might be in danger, please call 999

Who can I contact for help?

You can always try talking to your GP for help. They will know what support is available locally and refer you to NHS therapies if needed.

There are also support organisations you can talk to who offer specific mental health advice for people in the LGBTQ+ community:

  • Consortium - supporting projects around the country.
  • Galop – advice and support for people who have suffered hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse.
  • Gendered Intelligence - offers advice on gender diversity and improving the lives of trans people.
  • Imaan – supporting LGBTQ+ Muslims.
  • LGBT Hero Forums – provide a safe space to talk about life issues.
  • LGBT Foundation – offers talking therapy programmes.
  • Mermaids – offers a helpline and web chat services supporting transgender people and parents of transgender children.
  • Mind LGBTQIA – mental health support from Mind specifically for LGBTQIA+ people.
  • MindLine Trans+ - mental health support line for people who identify as transgender, agender, gender fluid and non-binary.
  • Mind Out - mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people.
  • Pink Therapy – online directory of therapists who specialise in the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Stonewall – LGBTQ+ charity, who provide advice on a range of topics.
  • Support U – confidential support phone lines for advice and information.
  • Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline – listening service via phone, email and online chat.
  • THT Direct – offering sexual health advice and information.
  • Voda - Self-guided digtal therapy programmes based on mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy.

Have you accessed mental health services?

If you have accessed or tried to access mental health services recently, then we want to hear about your experiences. Were you able to get the help and support you needed?

Share your experience