Raleigh LGBT center sees troubling effect from HB2

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Amid the battle over House Bill 2, the head of the LGBT Center of Raleigh is seeing a troubling effect.

Executive director James Miller says the call volume has increased by about eight times what it normally would be.

While some calls are from people curious about what effect HB2 has on them, that also includes an increase in calls from people considering hurting themselves or committing suicide.

Miller says the language surrounding the debate over HB2 is having an impact.

“Having to hear their identities essentially pushed to the side and told that you’re less than human almost,” he said. “This has been a trigger for many individuals in the community. It’s a reminder to individuals in the greater community that words matter.”

The center refers people who need help to local experts who have extensive experience working with and counseling people in the LGBT community.

On its webpage related to LGBT Health, the CDC notes “lesbian, gay and bisexual youth were more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide as their heterosexual peers.”

“When you’re looking at a community that has had nothing but troubles and trials and tribulations put upon them, it really matters what is coming out of Raleigh, what is coming out of the (General Assembly),” Miller said. “Focused on the idea that their state doesn’t respect them. And, many times when individuals come out, whether they are gay or transgender, it weighs very heavily on their mental health.”

The LGBT Center of Raleigh has created this page as a resource for people looking for help with mental health issues.

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