The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) community is comprised of many different identities, sexual orientations, and expressions of gender.  In addition, there is further diversity in the community due to differences in nationality, ethnicity, religion, race, and socioeconomic status.   While the intersectionality of these identities, which fosters diversity of thought, perspective, understanding and experience, is often experienced as a source of pride and resiliency among the community, there are also unique challenges that can negatively impact one’s mental health. Data below are from [The Trevor Project, “2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health”, The Trevor Project, (June 8, 2022)]

  • 69% LGBTQ youth (age 18-24) experience anxiety1
  • 53% LGBTQ youth (age 18-24) experience depression1
  • 37% of LGBTQ youth (age 18-24) seriously considered suicide in the past year (2021)1
  • 8% of LGBTQ youth (age 18-24) attempted suicide in the last year (2021)1

Many members of this community face discrimination, prejudice, denial of civil and human rights, harassment, and family/school/religious/social rejection.  This can often be experienced as traumatic for many individuals and can lead to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, PTSD and suicidal ideation as compared to their heterosexual and cisgender peers.  


While the majority of youth who identify as LGBTQIA+ desire mental health treatment, over half who want it do not go on to get the proper care.  There are significant barriers that prevent those in the community from coming in: namely, the ability to afford care, the fear of a lack of privacy from parents, the fear of being outed, or the fear of having a negative experience or being misunderstood by their counselor.  The UCC offers free and confidential counseling, which helps to manage several of those barriers.


Your relationship and your ability to build trust with your therapist is paramount to your experience in therapy.  If you attend several sessions and decide that the therapist you were assigned is not the best fit, we encourage you to bring that up and/or request to switch to someone new.  Here are some things to consider when determining what feels like a good fit:

  • You should feel safe and comfortable - both physically in their office and emotionally in their presence. Do they ask caring and compassionate questions? Do they use and respect your pronouns and the pronouns of those whom you bring up? Do you feel seen, heard, and validated?
  • Your work together should feel collaborative and should be about the issues that you wish to work on, as well as things that they see that might be helpful to talk about – that may or may not have anything to do with your gender identity or sexual orientation.  However, how you identify largely shapes your experience of the world and sharing that can help your therapist know you more holistically.
  • You are welcome to bring up (and they may ask you) how it feels to talk to them.  They may check in with you periodically about your progress together, and you are encouraged to provide feedback to them at any point if there are things that you feel are not going well.  Your therapist should welcome feedback, even (and especially) negative feedback, and create a safe space for you to share it and talk through together how to make you feel more comfortable.
  • A word on therapist disclosure: your therapist may not disclose their own identity to you for several reasons (how they were trained to practice, clinical judgment, their own identity development, comfort level, etc.), but if you feel it is important to ask about, they should be willing to talk to you about why that might feel important to you.


Free, confidential counseling is available at the University Counseling Center, 206 Health Services Building, 610-519-4050.



In an emergency, call Villanova Public Safety at 610-519-4444.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 988.