It’s fairly clear that the resilience that we often associate with LGBTQ people isn’t foolproof. We can all have dark moments. If your support networks miss the signals, it’s easy to become a statistic – another queer person who didn’t make it.
Studies demonstrate that queer people experience higher levels of anxiety, stress, depression, and suicidal feelings than heterosexual people. Rates of drug and alcohol misuse have also been found to be higher.
Poor levels of mental health among gay and bisexual people have often been linked to experiences of homophobic discrimination and bullying. For some, other factors such as age, religion or ethnicity can further complicate mental distress.
LGBTQ people are incredibly resilient and, in general, we’re pretty good at presenting a positive image to the world. However, regardless of what our Instagram may be telling you, the reality may be much darker, and much more complex.
Make sure that you regularly check-in with your queer friends. Don’t assume that they’re doing great just because that’s what their social media status updates suggest. They may not even realise that they’re at risk of falling apart.
If you’re struggling to navigate your way through the minefield of anxiety that is induced by every-day life, you’ve got to keep trying different strategies and coping mechanisms until you find something that works for you.
Naked Fox - stripping off for mental health
I'm always impressed by guys who are able to publicly share their personal stories about their struggles with mental health issues - it helps remind us all that there's no shame in asking for help.
One of the most articulate men who uses his online presence to engage with mental health topics is Naked Fox.
Not only is he a sexy guy who I follow hard, but he's a fantastic advocate for the benefits of naturism and the way that getting naked can help you navigate mental health struggles.
For the Naked Men Talking podcast, I caught up with Naked Fox for a chat about the benefits of getting your clothes off.
In the podcast conversation, we talk about formative experiences, naked rambling in Scotland, the dangers of beekeeping, and why getting your clothes off might be more effective than therapy.
You can also find a more sexed-up version of Naked Fox on his x-rated Twitter profile.