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Mental Health Week: LGBT+ youth facing 'widespread mental health crises'

Posted on the 18th May 2023


The UK urgently needs a 'wake-up call' on LGBT+ inclusion in the wake of a widespread mental health crisis among young LGBT+ people, an LGBT charity has said.

Just Like Us, a registered charity working to improve the lives of 18-25 year-olds who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, found that rates of suicidal thoughts and self-harm are considerably higher among the LGBT+ community than the population at large.

42 per cent of LGBT+ youth report having a mental health condition, compared to just 14 per cent of non-LGBT+ people. Young LGBT+ adults are also twice as likely as their non-LGBT peers to have self-harmed.

The investigation, which researched 3,695 people, found that trans and non-binary young adults were the most likely to have self-harmed, with 76 and 78 per cent respectively saying they had intentionally harmed themselves.

88 per cent of trans youth and 83 per cent of non-binary youth also reported experiencing suicidal thoughts - double the 43% of non-LGBT people.

The study's results come after reported hate crimes against LGBT people rose by over 40 per cent in the year to March 2022. The number of recorded incidents based on sexual orientation rose from 18,586 the year before to 26,152. Those involving trans people increased from 2,799 to 4,355 over the same period.

Amy Ashenden, interim chief executive of Just Like Us, hopes the data will shed light on the importance of promoting LGBT inclusion and rights.

"We know that young LGBT+ adults face disproportionate challenges because of their identities, whether that is bullying at school or work, difficult family relationships, or violence and abuse.

“It is no surprise that living in a society that often fails to support LGBT+ young people, and can even be actively anti-LGBT+, takes a toll on their mental and physical health."

The charity's research forms part of a new report, Positive Futures, due to be published in June. This investigation will research the experiences of young LGBT+ adults in the UK, focusing on topics such as wellbeing, home life and education.

Related: Mental Health Week 2023: Why Exercise Matters

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