Mental Health Resources for LGBTQ+ Youth and their Families

Last week our community lost a young person who identified as LGBTQIA+. This is the third young person in the trans community to die by suicide in Lancaster County in just six months. We grieve this tragic loss of a dear young person. Many people are suffering, and while sending our healing thoughts and attending vigils helps those grieving, it does not prevent more suicides.  

In 2023 the Trevor Project, an organization with a mission to end suicide among LGBTQ young people, conducted a U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People. The result of the survey illustrates the declining mental health of LGBTQ young people due to not feeling affirmed in their gender or sexuality as well as overall feelings of being physically, mentally and emotionally unsafe. 

Here are some key findings from the survey: 

  • 41% of LGBTQ young people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year—and young people who are transgender, nonbinary, and/or people of color reported higher rates than their peers. 
  • 56% of LGBTQ young people who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it. 
  • Fewer than 40% of LGBTQ young people found their home to be LGBTQ-affirming. 
  • Nearly 2 in 3 LGBTQ young people said that hearing about potential state or local laws banning people from discussing LGBTQ people at school made their mental health a lot worse. 
  • Nearly 1 in 3 LGBTQ young people said their mental health was poor most of the time or always due to anti-LGBTQ policies and legislation. 
  • A majority of LGBTQ young people reported being verbally harassed at school because people thought they were LGBTQ. 

At Touchstone Foundation, we elevate mental wellness, identifying the warning signs of depression among children and youth to prevent suicide, especially among high-risk populations such as youth who identify as LGBTQIA+, early-childhood trauma, and youth with alcohol and substance use disorders.  Youth in our LGTBQ+ community who are suffering with depression deserve and need our help with therapy. We can help.  

We seek to help all young people who are battling depression, suicidal thoughts, coping with grief, and suffering from bullying and harassment. Last fall, we wrote about how young people in our LGBTQ+ community need our help to stay alive.  

Finding an LGBTQ+ Therapist

Queer and gender-non-conforming individuals, and families of young people in our LGBTQ+ community may prefer to see an LGBTQ-affirming therapist. Our young people in the LGBTQ+ community unfortunately frequently experience harassment, bullying, and hatred daily, as we wrote about here.  

Many therapists who practice LGBTQ-affirmative therapy have completed specialized training, either in school or through continuing education. Working with a therapist who accepts and affirms a young person’s identity helps build connection, belonging, and strengthens safety, which are all crucial to mental health and wellness. Here is a list of all LGBTQ+ affirming therapists in and around the 17603-zip code. 

If therapy is too expensive for you, we can also help you with the copay or deductible. You can apply for our mental health access assistance here and your therapist will deduct $50 from your copay or deductible for every visit, all year long. Below are some additional resources local that can help you access mental health care at little to no cost! 

Local Lancaster Mental Health Resources:

The Community Mental Health Assistance Program, or CMAP, is a free and confidential voluntary program. To get started, contact MHA Lancaster at 717-397-7461 or to obtain additional information regarding the CMAP program and the participating providers. 

Patients R Waiting is connecting Black and Latino Lancaster residents to FREE culturally competent mental health services. Patients R Waiting can cover the entire cost of at least 3 sessions with them. Fill out the interest form on their website to get connected! 

Mental Health Resources

Do you or someone you love need help finding an LGBTQ-affirming therapist? We can help you. Please know that our community is full of caring therapists and counselors who want to support you. More resources are available on our Find a Therapist page here.   

For anyone looking for confidential peer support please check out our Helplines + Suicide Prevention page here. Below are some local and national helplines for LGBTQ+ and mental health crisis. 

Local Helplines:

  • Lancaster County Crisis Intervention (717)-394-2631  

Crisis Intervention is a 24 – hour emergency mental health service provided for persons experiencing anxiety, depression, suicidal or homicidal thoughts. 

  • Lancaster County Warm Line (717) 945-9976  

The Warm Line is a free, confidential phone service for Lancaster County residents. You can call to speak one-on-one with a certified peer specialist. This is not a crisis line, but a safe place to discuss problems, talk about your day, or ask questions related to recovery and wellness strategies. 

  • Call  211 or Text Your Zip Code to 898211 

Pennsylvania 211 East is a free, confidential, non-emergency, comprehensive information and referral service that connects Berks, Carbon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill County residents with the health and human services they need. Get connected to resources for housing, utilities, food, employment and expenses, health, and mental health.  

National Helplines:

If you are thinking about harming yourself — get immediate crisis support. Connect to a crisis counselor 24/7, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the U.S via text, chat, or phone. The Trevor Project is 100% confidential and 100% free. 

Trans Lifeline’s Hotline is a peer support phone service run by trans people for our trans and questioning peers. Call if you need someone trans to talk to, even if you’re not in a crisis or if you’re not sure you’re trans. 

LGBT National Youth Talkline is a confidential safe space where callers of any age can speak about sexual orientation or gender identity/expression issues. This includes coming out issues, relationship concerns, family, bullying, school issues, HIV/AIDS anxiety, safer sex information, suicide, and much more. 

Hotline Hours: 

Mon-Fri: 1 PM – 9 PM/pacific time | 4 PM – Midnight/eastern time  

Sat: 9 AM – 2 PM/pacific time | Noon – 5 PM/eastern time