This is a time of loss and loneliness for many people, and for the LGBT+ community, the coronavirus pandemic continues to be just one of many threats.
Inequalities that already existed have ramped up for the most marginalised LGBT+ people, including LGBT+ people of colour, trans people and people living in poverty.
Inequalities that already existed have ramped up for the most marginalised LGBT+ people, including LGBT+ people of colour, trans people and people living in poverty. Tamika (she/her) shared her experience as a black, queer young person. She told us about her struggles with mental health during the pandemic.
If you have been impacted by anything mentioned you can find LGBT+ inclusive support.
How has your life been impacted by COVID-19?
I was finally getting myself back on my feet after a long mental health break, was doing some volunteer work and going out with friends more but obviously Covid-19 has halted that, and I occasionally worry that I'm not in the headspace to try again.
I'm black and luckily for me I live alone so I only have to take care of my own health, however my mom is over 50 and vulnerable, she cares for my three younger siblings, so the savings were ate up fairly quickly so she went back to work quite early into lockdown and took as many precautions day to day as possible but of course I still worry about her being at risk.
Outside of that, I struggled a bit with my mental health, and it sort of varies - I'm bipolar and I'm fairly certain that I was in a very high point towards the start of lockdown because whilst I had a few instances of hallucinations I was still in a good mood however the last few weeks I've been having a fair few negative thoughts, some suicidal ones too.
Have you faced barriers or challenges accessing support?
I guess the only barrier would be that I no longer have any psychiatrist appointments face to face. Especially since I received the pill from my GP no problem.
I have a social worker and she has been unable to visit with lockdown happening and I've felt kind of awkward giving her life updates over the phone. I know that's just anxiety speaking. I also had a fairly major life update regarding a traumatic experience and it felt like I couldn't go anywhere to get help, like the only help was online or over the phone and I know it's the same but personally I open up better in person.
I'm ever so lucky, I was on the waiting list for social housing for two years and eventually they contacted me about viewing a studio flat and I snatched it up immediately! I was living in accommodation for the vulnerable previously so very happy to be out of that life stage