Report shows LGBT community in distress

A new analysis of research conducted by La Trobe University and funded by beyondblue and Movember has revealed strong links between psychological distress and drug use among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Australians.

The finding is revealed in a new paper A Closer Look at Private Lives 2, based on a national survey by La Trobe University researchers of almost 4000 LGBT Australians. It was launched by Minister for Mental Health and Equity, Martin Foley

Lead researcher William Leonard said "What these findings suggest is that to improve LGBT Australians' mental health, there needs to be a framework which promotes LGBT social inclusion and participation in all areas of society and social life and interventions that fight heterosexist discrimination, and value and affirm LGBT people."

 The paper examined initial survey findings from 2012 to investigate links between the mental health of LGBT Australians and their experiences of heterosexist discrimination, drug use, LGBT and mainstream community engagement, and health service use.

The analysis shows that trans males and trans females recorded the highest levels of harassment or abuse, with 55 per cent and 49 per cent reporting instances of harassment or abuse based on their gender identity or sexual identity.  The report also outlined the link between poorer mental health and socio-economic disadvantage among trans males and females.

Other findings included:

  • Participating in mainstream and LGBT community events was associated with increased resilience for trans males and females, lesbian and bi females.
  • Mental health appeared to improve with age for most of the gender identity and sexual identity groups.
  • Lower socio-economic status was a strong indicator of mental health problems among LGBT respondents.

The report will be made available to community, health, academic and government agencies across the country.

For more information, access the full report.

In addition,you can read  The Age article.

Media contact:

Catherine Garrett, +61 418 964 325

Image: Mike Bailey-Gates