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Summer Mental Health Poll Reveals a Majority of LGBTQ+ Adults Feel Pressure to Lose Weight or Change Their Body This Summer

Nearly Two-thirds Concerned About the Future of LGBTQ+ Rights

Washington, D.C., June 15, 2022 — This summer, as many LGBTQ+ Americans look to enjoy the warmer weather, plan vacations, leave school and turn on their air conditioners, more than half (55%) report feeling pressure to lose weight or change their body, and nearly half (48%) rate their mental health as fair or poor.

This is according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Healthy Minds Monthly Poll*, on Summer Mental Health, which was conducted by Morning Consult between May 27 and 29, 2022, among a sample of 2,210 adults.

In addition, hot weather (37%) and wearing clothes that show more of their body (32%) were cited as having a negative impact on the mental health of LGBTQ+ adults.

The poll also revealed that LGBTQ+ adults are significantly more likely to report they are very or somewhat anxious about the future of LGBTQ+ rights compared to adults overall (62% vs. 31%). LGBTQ+ adults were also very anxious about a number of other current events, including:

  LGBTQ+ Adults All Adults
Gun Violence 80% 68%
Inflation 74% 79%
Russia-Ukraine War 70% 63%
Climate Change 65% 52%
Future of Reproductive Rights 63% 48%
Future of LGBTQ+ Rights 62% 31%
COVID-19 55% 49%
Mid-term Elections 47% 47%

“It’s not surprising that LGBTQ+ Americans find the news around the future of their rights anxiety-inducing, given everything we are facing as a country at the moment,” said APA President Rebecca Brendel, M.D., J.D. “It’s obviously important to stay informed, but from time to time you need to take a break, particularly if you find yourself overwhelmed. Watching repeated scenes of violence in a 24/7 news cycle doesn’t help and can even make symptoms worse.”

LGBTQ+ Americans also report that many aspects of the summer have a positive impact on their mental health, this includes:

  LGBTQ+ Adults All Adults
Taking a Vacation 67% 67%
Spending time outdoors 69% 71%
Longer amounts of daylight 58% 66%
Attending social gatherings 55% 60%

“It’s good to see some LGBTQ+ Americans taking positive emotions from summer traditions, during a time when we really need them,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “But it stands out that half want to change their bodies. For some, that may come from being exposed to images of unattainable ideals on traditional and social media. It’s important to monitor your feelings and actions around these issues and if necessary, seek help.”

Full results of the poll are available by contacting [email protected].

*APA’s Healthy Minds Monthly tracks timely mental health issues throughout the year. APA also releases its annual Healthy Minds Poll each May in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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