LGBTQ+ community better at looking after mental health

Three out of every four people in the LGBTQ+ community in Australia have experienced mental health problems, finds latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

At the same time, the stats show that LGBTQ+ individuals are more likely to seek help through a mental health professional or self-help techniques.

Almost two in three trans people used at least one strategy for their mental health such as doing more of the things they enjoy or increasing physical activity.

Almost half of LGBTQ+ Australians questioned said they had experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress compared with one in seven heterosexual respondents.

Non-binary Australians are twice as likely to experience mental illness than cisgender people – more than 85 per cent.

Young transgender people are also affected, with 70 per cent of those aged under 34 reporting they had had mental health issues compared with just under 50 per cent of their cisgender peers.

The report identified the reasons for this include exclusion, discrimination, bullying and violence and said poor mental health can affect work relationships and finances.  

The British advocacy organisation Stonewall has found that, in the UK, half of LGBTQ+ people experienced depression last year and three in five had anxiety.

“Mental health problems such as depression, self-harm, alcohol and drug abuse and suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, but they’re more common among people who are LGBTIQ+,” says Stonewall.

“Being LGBTIQ+ doesn’t cause these problems. But some things LGBTIQ+ people go through can affect their mental health, such as discrimination, homophobia or transphobia, social isolation, rejection, and difficult experiences of coming out.

“It’s important to note that embracing being LGBTIQ+ can have a positive impact on someone’s well-being too. It might mean they have more confidence, a sense of belonging to a community, feelings of relief and self-acceptance, and better relationships with friends and family.”

The latest figures from the US show that around 39 per cent of the LGBTQ+ population reported mental health issues in the past year – almost 5.8 million people, which is more than the population of Kentucky. Source: State of Mental Health in America.

For more information on mental health and LGBTQ+ see:

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