Sexuality refers to an individual’s sexual orientation, attraction, behavior, and identity. It encompasses a diverse range of experiences, including heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, and other orientations. Mental health can be influenced by various factors related to sexuality, including self-acceptance, discrimination, stigma, and access to supportive resources.

How can sexuality affect mental health?

  • Emotional Well-being: Acceptance and affirmation of one’s sexual orientation and identity are essential for emotional well-being. Discrimination, stigma, or lack of support can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem.
  • Social Functioning: Social acceptance and support from family, friends, and community can positively impact mental health. Conversely, rejection, isolation, or discrimination based on sexual orientation can lead to social withdrawal, loneliness, and difficulties forming or maintaining relationships.
  • Identity Development: Exploring and understanding one’s sexual orientation and identity is a significant aspect of identity development. Confusion, denial, or suppression of sexual identity can contribute to internal conflict and emotional distress.

How to take care of your mental health

  • Self-Acceptance: Learning to accept and embrace your sexual orientation and identity will help to support better mental health. Surround yourself with supportive individuals who affirm and validate your identity.
  • Seek Support: Reach out to friends, family members, or support groups within the LGBTQ+ community or mental health organizations for understanding, validation, and guidance.
  • Therapy: Consider therapy or counselling with a qualified mental health professional who specialises in LGBTQ+ issues. Therapy can provide a safe space to explore feelings, address internalised stigma, and develop coping strategies.
  • Access Resources: Take advantage of resources and support services available in the UK, such as LGBTQ+ community centres, helplines, online forums, and mental health organisations specialising in LGBTQ+ issues.

Where to find support

There are a number of charities and organisations that can offer advice and support including;

Being Gay Is Ok


LGBT Foundation

Young Minds