Mental Health of Clark, Greene and Madison counties is reminding members of the LGBTQ of resources that are available to them. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Mental Health Recovery Board of Clark, Greene and Madison reminds LGBTQ residents of resources

As Pride Month comes to an end, the Mental Health Recovery Board of Clark, Greene and Madison County is reminding residents of the resources always available to members of the LGBTQ community.

Dr. Greta Mayer, CEO of the MHRB, said with many important conversations being held across the nation right now — including those concerning LGBTQ rights in the workplace — the board wants to ensure LGBTQ community members that they are there for them.

“Everybody and every family, regardless of their sexual orientation or how they identify, deserve to receive quality mental health care,” Mayer said. “We want to ensure LGBTQ community members know that we are celebrating Pride Month with them and we are here to support them emotionally and by providing resources.”

According to a 2019 national survey conducted by The Trevor Project, over 18% of 34,000 LGBTQ youth had attempted suicide in the past 12 months, MHRB shared in a news release. And according to research compiled by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, LGBT populations overall have the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol and other drug use, the release said.

MORE RILEY NEWTON: Coronavirus: Clark County workplace outbreaks start to stabilize

“Increasing substance use alone is a major risk factor in suicide. Substance use may trigger or amplify current depressive symptoms and warrants swift action. Treatment for depression and substance use disorder is highly effective and saves lives,” Mayer said.

The MHRB works with contact care providers like WellSpring in Clark County and Madison County Prevention to combat those statistics and provide LBGTQ-friendly mental health support, Mayer said.

WellSpringfield is part of the Clark County Suicide Prevention Coalition, which is comprised of professionals and volunteers from mental health, law enforcement, education and other sectors.

“Unfortunately, we know that LGBTQ people are struggling to find their own community to support during COVID-19, and the ‘stay at home’ model often does not provide a safe haven,” Beth Dixon, prevention education coordinator at WellSpring said. “There is a very real fear that isolation, depression and anxiety caused by the pandemic could leave many LGBTQ individuals more vulnerable to self-harm and suicide.”

If you or a loved on is experiencing mental health issues, MHRB suggest using any of the following contacts:

• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

• Crisis Text Line: Text 4HOPE to 741-741

• The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline: 888-843-4564

• The GLBT National Youth Talkline (serves youth through age 25): 800-246-7743

MORE FROM RILEY NEWTON: Coronavirus: Parents asked to monitor teens’ mental health after missed milestones

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.