LONDON — More than half of young gay people in England have suffered mental health issues and 40 percent have considered suicide according to findings of a major study from Youth Chances released this week, the Independent reports.
The report says that neglect of LGBT issues in schools contributes to a climate of hostility and fear that results in a “mental health crisis” for LGBT young people, the Independent said.
The Youth Chances Project — the biggest social research study into young LGBT people ever undertaken in England — finds that 50 percent have self harmed and 42 percent have sought medical help for anxiety or depression, the article said. Charity Metro, which led the project, interviewed more than 7,000 16- to 25-year-olds and asked about their experiences with education, employment, health services and relationships.
Dr. Greg Ussher, Metro’s acting chief executive, told the Independent, “We are failing LGBTQ young people. The clear message is that they are badly served. What they want most is emotional support and they are not getting it. By the age of 13, most are already sure or are questioning their sexuality or gender identity, so we need to ensure all families and schools are equipped to give that support.”
One in five LGBT pupils reported being the victim of physical attacks at school, but the majority did not report them and only a small proportion of those who did felt that their concerns were resolved. And only a quarter said they had learned anything at school about safer sex with a same-sex partner, the Independent reports.
Ussher warned that if schools failed to act it would lead to a “hugely increased risk of bullying and abuse; isolation and rejection — all leading to significantly increased levels of depression, self-harm and suicide,” the article said.