Lena Waithe

Lena Waithe's Inspiring Advocacy: Breaking Barriers for LGBTQ Mental Health


Aug. 14 2023, Published 11:04 p.m. ET

If you're part of the LGBTQ community, "being seen and heard" can mean so much. Lena Waithe – creator, actor, producer, and writer – has become an advocate for mental health awareness in the community. With her openness about her battles with depression and anxiety, as well as her long history of creating outlets to share stories often unheard by society at large, she stands out as a beacon of hope.

Her shows showcase diverse storylines, casting, and characters that positively represent the LGBTQ community. Lena is devotedly working towards easing the process for others who often feel alone on their journeys. Lena is helping break down stigmas and provide a space where people of all genders and sexual orientations can come together to share how they cope with their struggles.

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The LGBTQ+ Community Is at Higher Risk for Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues are a struggle for many individuals in our society, but the LGBTQ+ community, in particular, is at higher risk than most. The reasons for this are complex and multifaceted, but some contributing factors include discrimination, lack of support from family and friends, and internalized stigma. While acceptance and support for the LGBTQ+ community have improved in recent years, there is still work that needs to be done to help this community feel safe and accepted.

Mental health support and resources tailored to the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community are crucial in addressing this important issue. We must continue to raise awareness and support for those in the community who may be struggling with mental health challenges.

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Lena Waithe's Struggle with Depression & Anxiety

Lena Waithe, an accomplished writer and actress, has been open about her struggle with depression and anxiety. In a recent interview, she shared her coping mechanisms, including therapy and medication. Lena also touched on the unique struggle that comes with being a member of the LGBTQ+ community and how finding a supportive community has been essential to her mental health journey.

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“I’ve certainly had some really tough moments and I’ve felt alone. But, it’s important to remember that everyone’s journey is specific,” she told Forbes. “Everyone should ask for assistance." Her honesty and vulnerability about her struggles serve as a reminder that mental health issues can impact anyone, regardless of success or status. Being vulnerable enough to share her story leads others to do the same, which helps build community and leads to healing.

Her Advocacy Through Her Work

Through her work, Lena Waithe dares to share real and raw stories from the LGBTQ and black communities. She gives voices to the underrepresented. Lena also started a record label, Hillman Grad Records, with Def Jam, and mental health is a priority for the label. “It’s a tricky time right now to go through things everybody else goes through, publicly, while making art. It can create anxiety, depression, and when it goes unchecked, it can be very tragic,” she explained to Rolling Stone. “I think we shouldn’t have to lose any more of these amazing artists. I’m a person who knows what it’s like to not always feel like everyone’s on your side, but you have to keep going, and I think that is something I also bring to the table: I know what it’s like when it gets weird or dark.”

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From producing the hit show The Chi, which explores the lives of residents in the South Side of Chicago, to her portrayal of a queer character on the show Master of None, Lena has utilized her platform to bring greater visibility to underrepresented communities. Her advocacy through her work shines a light on underrepresented communities, opens up conversations, and encourages acceptance and understanding. Her impact on the entertainment industry is significant and continues to inspire change.

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