New research from Stonewall exposes alarming levels of poor mental health among LGBT+ people
BY DANIELLE MUSTARDE
New research from Britain’s leading charity for LGBT+ equality has exposed alarming levels of poor mental health among LGBT people when compared to the general population.
Stonewall’s study also reveals a “shockingly high level of hostility and unfair treatment” faced by many LGBT+ people when accessing healthcare services in the UK.
Based on YouGov polling of over 5,000 LGBT people, the brand new research shows that more than half of LGBT+ people have experienced depression in the last year, and three in five had anxiety.
This compares to one in six adults in England who faced a common mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression, according to Mind.
Experiences of anti-LGBT+ abuse and discrimination on the street, at home, and at work were also revealed to significantly increase the risk of poor mental health.
Two-thirds of LGBT+ people who’ve been the victim of a hate crime experienced depression, while three in four reported having episodes of anxiety.
The situation is particularly concerning for trans folk. In the last 12 months alone, more than one in 10 trans people attempted to take their own life, compared to two per cent of LGB people who aren’t trans. Almost half of trans people have also had thoughts about taking their own life.
Shockingly, almost one in four patients had witnessed negative remarks about LGBT+ people from healthcare staff while accessing services. One in seven LGBT+ people also said they have avoided treatment altogether for fear of the discrimination they may face.
Of those who do seek support, one in eight have experienced some form of unequal treatment from healthcare staff because they’re LGBT+.
A quarter of LGBT+ people also faced a lack of understanding of their specific health needs, a figure which rises to 62% for trans people.
On the basis of this report, Stonewall is calling for better training for all health and social care staff, with specific guidance on how to meet the needs of LGBT+ patients.
The charity are also calling for NHS England to make mental health a key priority for the new National LGBT Health Adviser.
To read the report in full visit stonewall.org.uk
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