These unprecedented times have disrupted our lives in more ways than one, and in particular our mental health. Those who may not have ever had issues prior to Covid, are now having to attend to their mental health needs, like never before. Isolation has proved to be a huge hurdle, and not having a supportive family or network, due to your sexual orientation, can leave a person really struggling under these unforeseen circumstances. Most LGBT+ will have experienced some kind of mental health issues at some stage in their lives, such as depression and/or anxiety, but Covid has brought things to a very new and scary level.

Mental health amongst the LGBT+ community has always been an issue and it is worth highlighting, especially now, as we try to come to terms with this ‘new normal.’ Due to the contagious nature of this virus, social distancing and keeping far from loved ones is promoted, which means a lot of LGBT+ people are being forced into further isolation from those very connections that keep them going on a day to day basis. Being stripped of one’s physical support systems and everyday surroundings can have a detrimental effect on person’s mental state. Isolation, I believe, is one of the biggest challenges for LGBT+ people during this pandemic, and it is once a person starts feeling that they are alone and by themselves in this, that the mind really starts to play up.

Thoughts of despair and hopelessness can, soon creep in, following this, feelings of fear, invisibility and panic can take over and before you can say ‘Bob’s your uncle’, you have been in bed for several days, hidden under the covers, not taking calls and back in that dark place, you so desperately fought to get out of. This is an all too familiar story for many LGBT+ people.

So, what I challenge you to do in this very uncertain time, you warrior, you!

Make your mental health a priority!

Get physical, get active, get outside!

Reach out, call someone, anyone!…..Video Call, the joys!

Get online, reach out to similar minded people, join groups that inspire and motivate you.

Work on being positive, it’s a skill…the mind is a muscle, work it out!

Take up a new hobby or get around to that project you have been talking about since last year.

Things will get better, it is not all doom and gloom, we just have to look at things a little differently and interact with people a little more mindfully, but just for a while.

We all have to dig deep here, and if nothing else, the LGBT+ community is renowned for being strong, resilient, and we will make it through this storm……you will make it through.

Like everything else…..’This too shall pass.’