An Update on LGBTQ Youth’s Mental Health (Professionals)

An Update on LGBTQ Youth’s Mental Health (Professionals)

Lauren Latella, PhD

Lauren Latella, PhD

Lauren Latella, PhD is a psychologist at Bellevue Hospital Center’s Child and Adolescent Outpatient Department, clinical assistant professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and private practice clinician based in New York City. She graduated from Fordham University’s Counseling Psychology PhD Program in May 2019 and completed her doctoral internship at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center and post-doctoral fellowship in the Mood Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute. Dr. Latella has a strong background in evidence-based interventions evaluating and treating multicultural diverse populations of children, adolescents, and young adults presenting with behavioral, emotional, developmental, and medical needs. She has specific training in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and play therapy for individuals diagnosed with mood, anxiety, personality, and trauma-related disorders.

Dr. Latella also has extensive training in mindfulness-based interventions, gender-affirming psychotherapy, and neuropsychological assessments. Additionally, she has a special interest in working with children and adolescents and their families coping with chronic illnesses. She worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center engaged in pediatric neuropsychological and physician-patient communication research and completed a practicum as a clinician on the Pediatric Psycho-Oncology Team. Dr. Latella is dedicated to providing scientifically-informed, holistic care to children, adolescents, and young adults as well as their families through a social-justice and multicultural framework.  

www.laurenlatellaphd.com 
 

An Update on LGBTQ Youth’s Mental Health (Professionals)

Share
No
LBGTQ+ mental health

While there has been a trend of increased anxiety and depression across youth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, LGBTQ youth faced unique challenges. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this population experienced disproportionate levels of suicidality, homelessness, and food insecurity. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated this statistic. According to the latest mental health statistics from the Trevor Project’s 2021 Youth Mental Health National Survey, 42% of LGBTQ youth reported that they seriously contemplated suicide during the pandemic. Additionally, these youth experienced elevated rates of anxiety and depression due to social isolation as many were unable to further their gender and sexual identity development and expression due to a lack of accepting and affirming environments that were open during the pandemic. The Trevor Project’s 2021 Youth Mental Health National Survey also identified that 70% of LGBTQ youth who participated in their national survey noted that their mental health worsened during the pandemic, with 72% of youth reporting that they experienced symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and 62% of youth reporting symptoms of major depressive disorder. It is common for LGBTQ youth to come out to their peers and social community prior to their caregivers due to fears that their caregivers will not be supportive or affirming. Therefore, being physically isolated in potentially unsupportive homes delayed many LGBTQ youth from coming out. The COVID-19 pandemic limited LGBTQ youth’s access to safe and accepting places for them to express their orientations and live their authentic lives. In turn, this is one factor that led to an increase in depressive and anxious symptoms among this population over the past 16 months.  

Like most places of employment, LGBTQ community centers across the nation closed for in-person events and relied on outreach through social media and virtual events. While virtual platforms may have increased access to support on a geographical basis both nationally and internationally, it restricted access for youth, particularly, those who have been rejected and abandoned by their caregivers or those who are afraid their caregivers may not be accepting. It is common for pre-teen and adolescent caregivers to monitor youth’s internet and phone activity, leaving some LGBTQ youth who have yet to come out to their families or are not accepted in their home environments fearful and reluctant to access online support. This further alienated this subset of the population and intensified social isolation and lack of support. According to The Trevor Project’s 2021 Youth Mental Health National Survey, neaerly 50% of LGBTQ youth reported that they wanted to seek mental health services and were unable to either obtain or ask for counseling support. Closures during the COVID-19 pandemic also reduced access to affirming medical providers due to the reallocation of medical attention and resources. This made obtaining puberty blockers and transgender hormone therapy more difficult. The cancellation of elective surgeries delayed gender affirming surgeries which further exacerbated mental health strains due to gender identity incongruencies with physical attributions for those seeking these procedures. Closures of courts also posed greater difficulty and long delays for non-binary and transgender individuals of age to legally change their name or gender markers. 

It is imperative to note that youth with compounded identities such as those who identify as Queer or Trans Persons of Color (QTPoC) experienced intensified hardships with an increase of discrimination due to race or ethnicity. The hostile political environment throughout the pandemic contributed to disempowerment and magnified oppression for QTPoC. Due to systematic racism and stigmatization of mental illness, QTPoC are less likely to receive mental health care, furthering the disproportionately negative effects the pandemic caused for this population. 

Continued advocacy for LGBTQ legislature and policies is a must to help support this vulnerable population. Additionally, psychoeducation and caregiver support is necessary to decrease the mental health crisis that LGBTQ youth who do not live in affirming environments face. The Trevor Project’s 2021 Youth Mental Health National Survey found that suicidality risk was halved for youth who lived in affirming environments. Expansion of LGBTQ-affirming practices and mental health, medical, and social services is warranted to continue to combat the growing disparities that LGBTQ youth face on a daily basis with or without a global pandemic. 

Lauren Latella, PhD

Lauren Latella, PhD

Lauren Latella, PhD is a psychologist at Bellevue Hospital Center’s Child and Adolescent Outpatient Department, clinical assistant professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and private practice clinician based in New York City. She graduated from Fordham University’s Counseling Psychology PhD Program in May 2019 and completed her doctoral internship at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center and post-doctoral fellowship in the Mood Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute. Dr. Latella has a strong background in evidence-based interventions evaluating and treating multicultural diverse populations of children, adolescents, and young adults presenting with behavioral, emotional, developmental, and medical needs. She has specific training in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and play therapy for individuals diagnosed with mood, anxiety, personality, and trauma-related disorders.

Dr. Latella also has extensive training in mindfulness-based interventions, gender-affirming psychotherapy, and neuropsychological assessments. Additionally, she has a special interest in working with children and adolescents and their families coping with chronic illnesses. She worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center engaged in pediatric neuropsychological and physician-patient communication research and completed a practicum as a clinician on the Pediatric Psycho-Oncology Team. Dr. Latella is dedicated to providing scientifically-informed, holistic care to children, adolescents, and young adults as well as their families through a social-justice and multicultural framework.  

www.laurenlatellaphd.com 
 

Use of Website Blog Commenting

Use of Website Blog Commenting

ADAA provides this Website blogs for the benefit of its members and the public. The content, view and opinions published in Blogs written by our personnel or contributors – or from links or posts on the Website from other sources - belong solely to their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ADAA, its members, management or employees. Any comments or opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors only. Please remember that the open and real-time nature of the comments posted to these venues makes it is impossible for ADAA to confirm the validity of any content posted, and though we reserve the right to review and edit or delete any such comment, we do not guarantee that we will monitor or review it. As such, we are not responsible for any messages posted or the consequences of following any advice offered within such posts. If you find any posts in these posts/comments to be offensive, inaccurate or objectionable, please contact us via email at [email protected] and reference the relevant content. If we determine that removal of a post or posts is necessary, we will make reasonable efforts to do so in a timely manner.

ADAA expressly disclaims responsibility for and liabilities resulting from, any information or communications from and between users of ADAA’s blog post commenting features. Users acknowledge and agree that they may be individually liable for anything they communicate using ADAA’s blogs, including but not limited to defamatory, discriminatory, false or unauthorized information. Users are cautioned that they are responsible for complying with the requirements of applicable copyright and trademark laws and regulations. By submitting a response, comment or content, you agree that such submission is non-confidential for all purposes. Any submission to this Website will be deemed and remain the property of ADAA.

The ADAA blogs are forums for individuals to share their opinions, experiences and thoughts related to mental illness. ADAA wants to ensure the integrity of this service and therefore, use of this service is limited to participants who agree to adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Refrain from transmitting any message, information, data, or text that is unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, that may be invasive of another 's privacy, hateful, or bashing communications - especially those aimed at gender, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin, religious views or disability.

Please note that there is a review process whereby all comments posted to blog posts and webinars are reviewed by ADAA staff to determine appropriateness before comments are posted. ADAA reserves the right to remove or edit a post containing offensive material as defined by ADAA.

ADAA reserves the right to remove or edit posts that contain explicit, obscene, offensive, or vulgar language. Similarly, posts that contain any graphic files will be removed immediately upon notice.

2. Refrain from posting or transmitting any unsolicited, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain mail," "pyramid schemes" or any other form of solicitation. ADAA reserves the right to delete these posts immediately upon notice.

3. ADAA invites and encourages a healthy exchange of opinions. If you disagree with a participant 's post or opinion and wish to challenge it, do so with respect. The real objective of the ADAA blog post commenting function is to promote discussion and understanding, not to convince others that your opinion is "right." Name calling, insults, and personal attacks are not appropriate and will not be tolerated. ADAA will remove these posts immediately upon notice.

4. ADAA promotes privacy and encourages participants to keep personal information such as address and telephone number from being posted. Similarly, do not ask for personal information from other participants. Any comments that ask for telephone, address, e-mail, surveys and research studies will not be approved for posting.

5. Participants should be aware that the opinions, beliefs and statements on blog posts do not necessarily represent the opinions and beliefs of ADAA. Participants also agree that ADAA is not to be held liable for any loss or injury caused, in whole or in part, by sponsorship of blog post commenting. Participants also agree that ADAA reserves the right to report any suspicions of harm to self or others as evidenced by participant posts.

Advertisement