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Why Research Matters

Stress. Social Isolation. Pandemic. COVID-19. Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Mental Health. Self Care. Change. LGBTQ+.

Pre-COVID-19 we could relate to many of these words; now, we can relate to most of themWords, many of which we could relate to Pre-COVID-19. Now, a large number of us can relate to most of the words.

Where are we six months into this pandemic? A new study just published by our colleagues at The PRIDE Study helps us begin to understand what we face today. This is one of the first studies to look at how the COVID-19 pandemic could be related to mental health changes for LGBTQ+ people. The findings help us understand who might be struggling more with depression and anxiety during this uncertain time. It also outlines what extra steps our communities might need to take to support self-care.

What did we learn? We learned that overall people had more symptoms of anxiety and depression after the pandemic began (with some interesting exceptions):

  • People who weren’t very anxious and depressed before COVID-19 were overall more anxious and depressed after COVID-19 began.

  • People who were very anxious before COVID-19 overall felt about the same after COVID-19 began.

  • People who were depressed before COVID-19 were overall slightly less depressed after COVID-19 began, though probably not in a noticeable way, as they were already experiencing a lot of depression.

What does this mean for us? We need to care for ourselves and other people in our communities. We need to check in on how people are feeling and take extra steps to care for ourselves and our loved ones. People within our communities should reach out for professional help to cope with anxiety and depression. Our finding might also mean that we have much to learn about coping in stressful situations from people who are diagnosed with depression.

What’s next? We are going to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on the health of our LGBTQ+ communities by doing more studies on the impact of COVID-19.

Take Action: See pridestudy.org/study for more information. Share this study with your friends and family.

This information provided by The PRIDE Study. To read more about this and other publications The PRIDE Study has worked on, check out their research page.

About

John Oeffinger is Director, eLearning and Training for Texas Health Institute and Co-Director of TransFORWARD: Texas Transgender Health, a collaboration between Texas Health Institute and Equality Texas Foundation. He has 39 years’ experience in project management, distance education and eLearning in for-profit, association, and non-profit organizations. John currently leads or co-directs four eLearning or transgender health projects for THI developing collaborative partnerships with national, state, and community based partners. He has been project lead for thirty-three online courses including twenty-five that are currently online. John earned his Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Texas A&M University in 1976 and was named to Marquis Who’s Who in America in 1996. His primary research interests are in culturally competent transgender health, 3D immersive learning, web and mobile applications in health, and developing organizational knowledge.

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