LGBTQ and Mental Health

Evidence suggests that people within the LGBTQ community are much more likely to experience mental health conditions than the rest of the population.

What does LGBTQ stand for?
It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning.
This is a question I hear being asked a lot… and to me, that just shows that the LGBTQ community is not spoken about enough.

Not only are people within this community three times more likely to develop a mental health condition than the general population, but they are also four times more likely to attempt suicide, engage in self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts. With suicide being the leading cause of death in LGBTQ individuals between the ages of 10 and 24.

Higher prevalence of mental health conditions can be attributed to a wide range of factors. People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning their sexuality are much more likely to face high levels of harassment, discrimination and hate crimes than straight people. Having the support and care of others plays a huge role in an individual’s mental health. One study found that people who were rejected by their close family and friends when opening up about their sexuality were eight times more likely to have attempted suicide than those who were accepted and supported.

Out of a survey questioning 5000 LGBT individuals, 52% of them had experienced depression. This is a shocking statistic as according to Mind Charity, 25% of the general population experience depression.

It is estimated that 20-30% of the LGBT community abuse substances compared to 9% of the general population.
25% of the LGBT community abuse alcohol, compared to 5-10% of the general population.

As you can see from the above statistics, individuals in the LGBTQ community are at a much higher risk of developing various mental health conditions and something needs to be done to tackle this.

Should We Teach Children in Schools About LGBTQ?

This year, schools are introducing mental health into the curriculum. This means that children will be taught the basics about mental health, helping them to spot the signs of struggle in both themselves and their peers as well as informing them of the various support systems and help that is available to them. On top of this, the children will be taught basic self-care and will learn how to openly talk about their feelings. Also being added to the curriculum is internet safety and the important signs to look out for when talking to people online and what to do if anything makes them feel uncomfortable (where to report any incidents and how to respond).

So should they also be including lessons in regards to LGBTQ? Teaching children that love is love, explaining to them that their sexuality is not a choice, but the way in which they were born? Letting them know that it is okay to be themselves and that there are many charities and groups available for supporting them if they are within the LBGTQ community and find themselves struggling?

What do you think about this? Should children be taught about sexuality in schools? If so, what age should this be introduced and how what sort of details should be shared? – Join us for our Facebook Friendly on the 20th June at 7:30 pm where we will be discussing LBGTQ and mental health with each other, sharing thoughts, opinions and experiences in a safe and controlled space! 

Join our Facebook Group: Universe Online so you do not miss important updates, monthly talks, competitions, giveaways and much more!

Sources:

MentalHealth.org

Mind Charity – LGBTQ and Mental Health

National Alliance on Mental Health – LGBTQ

NHS

The Guardian – Study Finds High Levels of Depression Among LGB Teenagers

BBC – School Children to be Taught About Relationships

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