Pride season is well and truly underway. What’s this got to do with a mental health and well-being column you may ask?

Well, for starters, it’s a fact people from the LGBTQ+ community are statistically more likely to be affected by poor mental health.

The same can also be said for people from any marginalised group in society.

Thankfully society is a lot more accepting these days, however, as I’m sure many of you will know, it hasn’t always been this way.

Many people from marginalised groups of all descriptions have faced bullying and worse over the years. The mental scars of bullying can run deep.

The taunts, the abuse, the constant feeling of being different – these experiences can shape our inner narrative, that voice in our heads that whispers doubts and anxieties.

When faced with stress or challenges later in life, those negative voices can resurface, echoing the negativity of our past tormentors.

So, while for many people June is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community's diversity and resilience, it can also be a time of reflection on the challenges faced, and for some people, can bring back memories of these negative experiences.

This is also something that can happen to any of us if we were on the receiving end of negative comments or large amounts of criticism when we were younger.

Again, as adults, when we are particularly stressed or anxious, or going through a difficult time, our mind can start replaying all the negativity from when we were younger, it can often be difficult to stop.

This can add to the stress, and before we know it, we can be in a vicious cycle of negative thinking.

Interestingly, in terms of people who identify as LGBTQ+, the age groups most affected by mental health issues are those under 35 or those over 55.

This could be because those under 35 have recently gone through issues regarding self-acceptance of their differences, and all that goes with it.

For people who are 55-plus, many of them lived through the 1980s, and the terrible stigma and prejudice that was aimed, particularly at gay men, during the early years of HIV/AIDS.

Food for thought, as to why Pride Month is so important, in terms of mental health.

* Martin Furber is a therapist qualified in various modalities and an Instructor Member of Mental Health First Aid England