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LGBTQ+ mental health

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Published: 1 July 2020

A student sat in a therapy session, holding their hands.

Nancy Bradley, Health and Wellbeing Manager discusses mental health in the LGBTQ+ community and the barriers it’s members come across when they need support.

In 2018 52% of LGBTQ+ people experienced depression, according to a report by Stonewall

This is far higher than in the general population and the number is even greater for LGBTQ+ people who are young or members of the BAME community. 

Reasons behind these statistics often include experiencing homophobic and transphobic discrimination or bullying.

Research shows LGBTQ+ people often face discrimination when looking for healthcare.

This fact makes the decision to talk to a health care professional about your sexual orientation or gender identity difficult.

The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+, whether that’s directly or indirectly. 

Being able to come out to your GP may be beneficial when speaking about any difficulties you are going through so that they can suggest specific support options available.

Many people have concerns about this so it may help to speak to someone you trust first if you feel anxious.

Help and guidance

The first thing you need to know is that you are not alone.

Our Health and Wellbeing team are always there for you if you need to talk. You can contact us at londonhealth@sunderland.ac.uk or by calling on 0207 531 7343.

If you’re experiencing anxiety and depression, considering therapy is a sensible step to take. 

You can talk with a trained professional who specialises in issues experienced by LGBTQ+ people.

A good therapist can help with: 

  • Difficulty accepting your sexual orientation
  • Depression
  • Coping with people’s reactions
  • Hostility or rejection from friends or family

Support charities

Stonewall

The UK’s largest LGBTQ+ charity, supporting people since 1989. Their website is filled with fantastic resources and support contact information. The Stonewall and General Medical Council guide Protecting Patient Rights explains your health services rights. 

Get in touch on 0800 0502020. Their lines are open 9:30 am - 4:30 pm Monday to Friday with an answerphone service outside of these times.

The Samaritans

A charity helping people with emotional distress. They have a free and confidential support line open 24 hours a day. Just dial 116 123 to get in touch.

Mind Out

A mental health service for LGBTQ+ people. They can give you advice, information and advocacy. They also organise peer support groups, mentoring and wellbeing events. Call them on 01273 234 839.

Emergencies

If you, or someone you know, needs urgent support this is an emergency situation. This includes thoughts of self-harm. Mental health emergencies should be taken as seriously as physical ones. 

Call 999, you won’t be wasting anyone’s time. 

You can also get immediate help through your local crisis line. The one’s near you could include:

  • Newham is 020 7771 5888
  • Tower Hamlets is 020 7771 5807

Visit the NHS local crisis line for other locations.

Find out more about what the Health and Wellbeing team at the University of Sunderland in London can do for you. Book a one-to-one session with them londonhealth@sunderland.ac.uk or by calling on 0207 531 7343.

Learn more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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