According to a new study, the British LGBT community faces a mental health crisis similar to a coronavirus pandemic. The Queerantine research found that most LGBT people struggle with depression, with young people confined to bigoted relatives the most depressed. The study, by researchers from Bristol University, University College London and the Royal College of Psychologists, shows LGBTQ people show significant symptoms of depression during the lockdown period.
They found that 69 per cent of the 310 respondents suffered depressive symptoms during the lockdown period, compared to 90 per cent of those who experienced homophobia and transphobia, and 76 per cent reported periods of anxiety. The report also said there’s been an increased suicide rate among the LGBT population. LGBT people are twice as likely as the general population to commit suicide, with 44% of LGBTQ people expressing suicidal thoughts during the lockdown, compared to only 16% in the overall population and only 7% in the rest of the UK. They found that a significant proportion of LGBT people who had been victims of hate crime experienced depression. In contrast, 74% had mental health problems, compared with 52% a decade ago. LGBTQ people are at higher risk of suicide than other groups, such as women and people of colour.
This pandemic is particularly damaging because it reveals the vulnerabilities that often bubble to the surface. Homeschooling can force students to find new ways to deal with pre-existing mental illness, especially students isolated in homes with LGBTphobic families or roommates. It is especially tough when they are being cut off from other members of the LGBT community or being faced with hate crimes.
Calling for help
The BBC recently reported that LGBT people seek support in suicide prevention because of the restrictions on lockdown. The Guardian also pointed to information from the Manchester LGBT Health Network. This charity supports local communities in Greater Manchester, which found that calls to mental health crisis hotlines have increased by 123% in the past year. In comparison, phone calls about suicidal thoughts have increased by 25%.
The study also called for more government support for LGBT charities that continue to address mental health. Dr Becares said: LGBTQ people remain unhindered despite significant policy commitments and funding to alleviate health inequalities exacerbated by pandemics. She added: LGBTQ mental health remains untreated despite substantial government investment in health and social care. Effective policy and funding commitments aimed at addressing the inequality in health exacerbated by the pandemic.
The Government’s Equality Office needs to do more to recognize and address the impact Covid 19 has on the LGBT community. The report also shows LGBTQ people are more likely to live alone. 44% say they struggle to cope with social and physical isolation for people with no family support system. Compared to just 13% of the overall population and just 5% in the NHS. Many young people say they can’t access support from LGBTQ peers and allies without their families. Those who are relatively reclusive feel pushed into the closet. COVID 19 disproportionately affects these communities, with less access to health care and insecure housing.
Eleven per cent of intersex people surveyed reported difficulties accessing mental health services, compared with just 3.5 per cent of the general population and just 1.2 per cent in the NHS and just 2.7 per cent for respondents who do not live between the sexes. In a recent survey, 79% of LGBTQ people said the lockout harmed their mental health.
LGBT Hero, a health and equality organization, reported an increase in the number of people accessing their mental health services in the first three months of this year. Eight UK charities said a rise in LGBT users using suicide prevention, with LGBT Hero noting that this was a rise of more than 44 per cent. One support group, LGBTHero, has seen a 30% increase in access to its services compared to the three-month suspension.
The findings are part of a Guardian survey that asked the LGBTQ community about their experiences with the pandemic.
It seems to be a beneficial report, pointing out ways to be more inclusive and accessible to all, recognizing the importance of addressing all aspects of a health representation.
Upstate New York is a prime example of the hurdles transgender people face in getting medical care. Doctors and other health care providers often refuse to treat trans people because they want nothing to do with their gender identity. Many providers assume that transgender patients do not need services such as pelvic exams or contraception or that their treatment is too complex to practice. As a result, patients cannot find doctors willing to provide the same level of care as their non-transgender peers.
Transgender people’s access to health care is further complicated because their identity is classified as a mental disorder, meaning that they must accept a stigmatized diagnosis to access health care. The state requires mental health professionals who have already been treated for gender dysphoria to check if the patient is transgender before doctors can consider treatment. 12 months after expressing their gender identity and receiving the necessary medical notes indicating that a gender confirmation is medically required, transgender people can seek gender reassignment treatment, such as hormone therapy or hormone replacement therapy. However, to decide whether to have sex reassignment surgery or surgery to varying degrees. A person must receive two separate notes from a psychiatrist and a therapist confirming their desire to transition.
In any case, policies that affect the lives of transgender people should always be gender-affirming and aim to support their lives following their gender identity.
Health officials say other services require a cultural overhaul to implement transgender services. The US Department of Health and Human Services prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in healthcare. In any case, evidence of discrimination and bullying by health professionals has led to more significant support for transgender people.
Of the 1,080 people supported by our Village Angels last year
👼 58% presented with an alcohol-related vulnerability
👼 25% required first aid, including emergency life-preserving interventions
👼 3% needed support for mental health crises including suicidal ideation / self-harm pic.twitter.com/d6n2pLYUT6
— LGBT Foundation (@LGBTfdn) April 15, 2021
The most vulnerable
Trans and non-binary people have a higher rate of mental and physical health, says Dr Susan G. Smith. Director of the National Center for Transgender Health at the University of California, Berkeley.
Data suggests that HIV prevalence among transgender and non-binary people is nine times higher than among their binary counterparts. India is another country where transgender people are targeted for HIV services, reaching an estimated 83% transgender population. A transgender person has virtually no measure of physical or mental health. States are being inundated with calls to announce new health benefits. They included access to health services for people living in poverty and prevention of HIV / AIDS.
For the first time the Oregon Health Plan decided to cover the cost of transgender health services. They offered a wide range of supports. They included condoms, insoles, bras and insoles for it’s members, and a variety of other services.