Custom Search 1

BAME LGBT people at higher risk of poor mental health

MENTAL HEALTH: 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

NEW RESEARCH from Stonewall, Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, has exposed alarming levels of poor mental health among LGBT people compared to the general population.

Stonewall’s study has also revealed a shockingly high level of hostility and unfair treatment faced by many LGBT people when accessing healthcare services.

The research, based on YouGov polling of over 5,000 LGBT people, shows that rates of depression are higher among those who have experienced a hate crime on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBT people aged 18-24 (68 per cent), and Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT people (62 per cent) are also more likely to experience depression in the last year. This compares to one in six adults in England who faced a common mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression, according to mental health charity Mind.

More than one in five Black, Asian and minority ethnic people (22 per cent) have experienced an eating disorder in the last year compared to 11 per cent of white LGBT people, according to the report.

Paul Twocock, director of campaigns, policy and research at Stonewall, said: “Simply being lesbian, gay, bi or trans shouldn’t mean you’re at higher risk of experiencing poorer mental health or should have to expect unequal treatment from healthcare services in Britain today. Unfortunately, this report shows that for many, it still does.

“Despite some outstanding progress by committed individuals and institutions, we are still seeing a bleak picture of LGBT health – both mental and physical – in 2018.”

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 (69 per cent) experienced depression, while three in four (76 per cent) reported having episodes of anxiety.

The situation is particularly concerning for trans people. In the last 12 months alone, more than one in 10 trans people (12 per cent) attempted to take their own life, compared to two per cent of LGB people who aren’t trans. Almost half of trans people (46 per cent) have also had thoughts about taking their own life.

One in five BAME LGBT people had experienced some form of unequal treatment from healthcare staff because of their sexual orientation of gender identity while accessing services. One in seven LGBT people (14 per cent) said they have avoided treatment altogether for fear of the discrimination they may face.

On the basis of the findings 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. It is also urging NHS England to make mental health a key priority for the new National LGBT health adviser.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments