Successive studies identify LGB people's vulnerability to emotional or mental ill health as a result of isolation, exclusion or rejection by family and friends, verbal or physical abuse, or harassment. Over 60% of LGB people in Wales said that they had experienced some verbal or physical abuse (Stonewall Cymru, 2003).
In Social exclusion, absenteeism and sexual minority youth (Rivers, I. 2000), 72% of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults reported a regular history of absenteeism at school due to homophobic harassment. 50% who had been bullied at school had contemplated self-harm or suicide - 40% had made at least one attempt to self- harm.
Fact sheets are available from Mind.
Stonewall Cymru remain concerned about the lack of mainstream mental health service providers who attempt to inform LGB people in Wales about their services, or reassure them that they are 'LGB friendly'. To increase confidence in approaching service providers LGB people need to know that services will meet their needs in appropriate ways.
Unfortunately, we often hear about an overall lack of provision, support and services to meet the mental health needs of the population as a whole. In addition, LGB people may be refused services, treated as though their sexuality is the cause of their emotional difficulty and needs to be 'cured', or not have treatment needs tailored to their situation when providers say they don not need to know about sexual identity as 'we treat everyone the same'.
This stance, wastes resources, and denies equality as services fail to meet the needs of the individual. It forces lesbians and gay men into patterns of discussion and treatment based upon heterosexual gender roles, identities and life patterns.
Stonewall Cymru have just completed a research project into the needs and experiences of LGB people with mental health issues in Wales.
Click here to download the report
Click here for more information on the project
MIND OUT Cymru - the campaigning network for LGB mental health professionals and service users:
Tel: 02920 - 39 51 23
Post: Mind Cymru
Cowbridge Road East
Tel: 02920 - 39 51 23