LGBTQ+ and Mental Health

LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and others who may define their sexuality / gender in other ways.

Whilst being LGBTQIA+ does not cause mental health conditions, the people of this community are more likely to develop them due to experiencing things such as; homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, stigma, discrimination, social isolation, exclusion, rejection, or a negative experience when coming out to their friends, family and loved ones.

People of the LGBTQIA+ community are one and a half times more likely to develop depression and/or anxiety than the rest of the population.

1 in 8 between the ages of 18-24 had attempted to take their own lives.

Almost half of transgender people have thought about ending their own lives.

Bisexual people are most likely to develop a mental health condition, including depression, anxiety, eating disorder and suicidal thoughts/tendencies.

On top of the mental health risks, LGBTQIA+ people are also struggling to receive the healthcare that they need and deserve.

Due to levels of discrimination, this can affect their ability to access services and receive the appropriate support.
A survey of gay and bisexual men, who have accessed healthcare in last 12-months, found that 2 in 10 experienced inappropriate curiosity from a member of the healthcare staff. This means that they may have been asked intrusive questions about their personal lives or could have been subject to invasive physical examinations that were not deemed necessary.

Surveys also found that 1 in 4 transgender people have been ‘outed’ by healthcare professionals without their consent.

Homosexuality was once deemed a mental health condition.
It is not until fairly recently, in 1990, that this was removed from the World Health Organisations list of mental illnesses. While this is a positive change, and while there is more support and understanding around the LGBTQIA+ community, there is still a very long way to go.

Some Helpful Resources:

SingleCare – LGBTQ+ Guide to Health and Wellness

Mind Charity – LGBTQIA+ Mental health – LGBT+ Mental Health

Mental Health UK – LGBTQIA+

NHS – Help for Mental Health Support for LGBTQ+


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