25 June 2024

Pride Month 2024: Time to Reflect on LGBTQIA+ Rights and Mental Health in the EU

This article has been written Lucia Kleekamm from Mental Health Europes member Mental Health Crowd. Lucia is a proud lesbian woman raising awareness about the intersection between mental health and queerness in an attempt to help everyone understand why celebrating Pride Month is so important. This article was  first published in German in GEHEIMTIPP München.


Rainbow flags, celebrations, and cities in vibrant colours – in a lot of cities in Europe, people are celebrating Pride Month this June. However, beyond the festive mood, there are serious reasons why Pride Month is more important than ever this year – one being the growth of extremist groups who pose a threat to queer rights across the EU.

Mental Health in the Queer Community

Sometimes you hear statements like: “Why do we still need a whole month for queer people? Here in Europe, we are all already equal.” Unfortunately, this is not the reality. Although the situation for queer people has generally improved, many still experience hostility and negative encounters. Almost every queer person has their own stories of queerphobia and discrimination. This significantly impacts the mental health of the queer community. In Germany, the queer population is almost three times more likely to experience depression than the rest of the population. About 26% of the LGBTQ+* community will experience depression at some point in their lives, compared to 10% of cis-heterosexual people. Loneliness, sleep issues, suicidality, addiction, anxiety, and eating disorders are also disproportionately prevalent. One cause of these alarming numbers is societal and institutional discrimination. Queer people are often subjected to homophobic or transphobic remarks; discrimination is a daily occurrence for many. During the internal and external coming out process, many struggle with insecurity, fear, and shame. These psychological burdens can lead to long-term mental health problems.

Community and Allyship to Combat Discrimination

Loneliness is particularly dangerous for mental health. When a person’s social relationships do not meet their needs, they feel lonely, isolated, and often hopeless. Strong social networks and support systems are huge resources that can strengthen resilience in people, especially when they already face daily discrimination and stigma. Friendships, family, societal acceptance, and ally support can have a massive impact on the mental health of queer people, showing them that they are not alone and that there is a community ready to support them through their journey.

That’s why it’s so important to show your colours at events like Pride Month. Grab your colourful clothes, your flags, banners and slogans, and head to celebrate Pride Month all across Europe. Let’s use Pride Month to make diversity visible and livable. By welcoming people as they are, we improve everyone’s mental health.

And a few final words that are important to the Mental Health Crowd team:

No matter who you love or how you identify, we love you, and your mental health is important to us! Stay as colourful as you are because that makes you perfect!


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