Recent research into the mental health of the LGBT community in Britain has highlighted mental health issues that are prevalent within the our community, that impact an individual's physical, emotional and psychological health and wellbeing.
Here at London Friend, we believe that individuals who engage with our services, often report an improvement in their general wellbeing. Also, we feel that we have developed our services over time to provide an opportunity for individuals to seek support from others who have first-hand experience of some of the issues that arise from identifying within this community, and who therefore understand the difficulties that sometimes present themselves to having a non-normative gender and sexuality.
Services that can support mental health include the London Friend counselling service, the Antidote drug & alcohol service, our various social & support groups to keep people connected and to support with various individual needs, our sexual health partnerships to support issues surrounding sexual health.
At London Friend we know how much LGBT people value LGBT specific services. In our most recent client satisfaction survey 100% of respondents said it was important (20%) or very important (80%) to have access to LGBT specific support. The most common reasons cited for this are feeling safe and feeling understood. Similarly, only 12% of people accessing Antidote, our drug and alcohol service, told us they would have felt comfortable going to a generic treatment service.
Mental Health facts and figures
In 2018 the Government published the results of its LGBT survey, the largest survey of LGBT people ever conducted with 108,000 responses. It covers many topics including mental health. It found that LGBT people reported lower life satisfaction than the population as a whole. It also found that a quarter (24%) of respondents had accessed mental health services in the previous year, but 72% said it had not been easy to do so.
In London, the London Health Assembly Committee within the Mayor’s office published its findings on LGBT mental health in 2017. They estimated that 40% of LGBT may experience a mental health issue, compared with 35% of the population as a whole. They also found existing mental health services were not meeting the needs of LGBT people.
LGBT in Britain - Health Report is Stonewall's report based on YouGov research with 5000 lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people across England, Scotland and Wales about their life in Britain today. This report, part of a series based on the research, looks at mental health and wellbeing of LGBT people and investigates the specific experiences of LGBT people when accessing healthcare services.
This study shows the rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions among LGBT people. It also looks into the accessibility of healthcare services and discrimination LGBT people face when seeking medical support.
Key findings of the Stonewall Report
- Half of LGBT people (52 per cent) said they’ve experienced depression in the last year
- One in eight LGBT people aged 18-24 (13 per cent) said they’ve attempted to take their own life in the last year
- Almost half of trans people (46 per cent) have thought about taking their own life in the last year, 31 per cent of LGB people who aren’t trans said the same
- Forty-one per cent of non-binary people said they harmed themselves in the last year compared to 20 per cent of LGBT women and 12 per cent of GBT men
- One in six LGBT people (16 per cent) said they drank alcohol almost every day over the last year
- One in eight LGBT people aged 18-24 (13 per cent) took drugs at least once a month
- One in eight LGBT people (13 per cent) have experienced some form of unequal treatment from healthcare staff because they are LGBT
- Almost one in four LGBT people (23 per cent) have witnessed discriminatory or negative remarks against LGBT people by healthcare staff. In the last year alone, six per cent of LGBT people – including 20 per cent of trans people – have witnessed these remarks
- One in twenty LGBT people (five per cent) have been pressured to access services to question or change their sexual orientation when accessing healthcare services
- One in five LGBT people (19 per cent) aren’t out to any healthcare professional about their sexual orientation when seeking general medical care. This number rises to 40 per cent of bi men and 29 per cent of bi women.
- One in seven LGBT people (14 per cent) have avoided treatment for fear of discrimination because they're LGBT