Mental health conditions such as depression, self-harm, alcohol and drug abuse and suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, but they are more common among people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer (or questioning) (LGBTIQ+). Being LGBTIQ+ does not 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.
A recent study by Stonewall found that over the previous year:
- half of LGBTIQ+ people had experienced depression and three in five had experienced anxiety
- one in eight LGBTIQ+ people aged 18-24 had attempted to end their life
- almost half of trans people had thought about taking their life.
Approximately 2.6% of Londoners identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, and the proportion is higher amongst those aged 16-24 [ONS, 2017].
Some IAPT services do targeted outreach work and interventions with the LGBTIQ+ community and below are few examples:
Leeds IAPT – part of the re-commissioning of their service included an aim to improve access to the LGBTIQ+ communities [click here for the service’s website]
Lewisham – has worked with Metro (an LGBT service across Lewisham and Greenwich) to tailor IAPT resources and make them very specific to their needs, for example adapting the standard Step 2 protocol. Metro Centre offers a wide range of services from social groups to advocacy and support for victims of hate incidents or crimes, mental health support and counselling as well as a mental health drop-in group, social drop-ins, HIV support, sexual health counselling and testing, free condoms, African services, liaison with police/housing/colleges and schools etc.
Links to some support organisations for LGBTIQ+ people:
- Wellbeing support for LGBTQ+ Londoners – ThriveLDN
- Albert Kennedy Trust – supports young LGBTIQ+ people aged 16 to 25.
- Gendered Intelligence – a trans-led charity that works to increase the quality of trans people’s lives, especially those under the age of 25.
- Imaan – supports LGBTIQ+ Muslims, and provides an online forum where people can share experiences and ask for help.
- LGBT Consortium– have a database of local LGBTIQ+ groups, projects and organisations, including mental health services.
- Stonewall – offers help and advice for LGBTIQ+ people and their allies.
- Switchboard LGBT helpline – offers information and support. All their volunteers are LGBTIQ+.