May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness shows LGBTQ+ adults are more thanas heterosexual adults to experience .
That’s why it’s important to have open discussions. Steven Haden, CEO of, works to close gaps in behavioral outcomes for the LGBTQ+ community through programming, advocacy, and evidence-based training. He shared his personal story with CBS News Colorado anchor Mekialaya White in hopes of inspiring others.
“We all know our physical health is mental health, and mental health is physical health,” Haden said. “And it doesn’t discriminate. We are all impacted in some way by mental health concerns. So, if we can lean in and have those empathetic conversations with our friends, colleagues, about how they’re doing, our friends and family. We can create that space for people to start thinking about what recovery looks like for them.”
Haden says, historically, his community has been under attack and that can impact mental health as well: “Discrimination, harassment, downright hate,” he continued. “Not surprisingly, those have really profound impacts on our community. A sense of isolation, disconnection and feeling hopeless. The message to our community that indeed there is help and hope available and you’re not alone.”
Last weekend, Haden attended theconference as an advocate. He shared that there is help out there if you’re struggling. He’s lived it.
“As a person who’s in recovery myself, he said, “I know that better days are ahead and you, too, can thrive.”
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