WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The same kinds of health issues that have been widely reported to disproportionately affect LGBT residents in the U.S. have similar effects on LGBT New Zealanders, Radio New Zealand reports.
In research commissioned by the country’s Auckland District Health Board, high levels of suicide and depression were reported and are caused by minority stress, the article said. Report author Michael Stevens says the rates of suicide among young gay men there is five times higher than that of the general population.
Though the legal setting in New Zealand has improved for the gay community, he says, social stigma and shame persist, the Radio New Zealand article noted.
“These things have an impact on people’s health. In the same way that ethnicity and income levels can have an effect on people’s heath, so does being part of the rainbow community,” Stevens was quoted as having said.
Stevens told Radio New Zealand the government’s new suicide prevention strategy doesn’t mention the gay community, the article noted.