A new report released by La Trobe University researchers today shows that LGBTI Australians still fear discrimination when reaching out for help with their mental health.
The study found that 71 per cent of LGBTI Australians didn’t reach out to support services during their last mental health crisis. The report, titled ‘Understanding LGBTI+ Lives in Crisis’, was commissioned by Lifeline Australia and is Australian-first research from the Australian Centre for Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe.
“It’s an alarming figure because we know from previous research that there is a higher rate of suicidal ideation, self-harm and poor mental health in LGBTI+ people,” said the study’s leader researcher Dr Andrea Waling. The primary reason LGBTI+ people chose not to use crisis counselling was “an anticipation of discrimination”, according to the study.
“Many have faced discrimination from other health services and these experiences mean they’re reluctant to contact mainstream services, even in times of crisis,” Waling said. Some participants said they believed they would be burdening a service by contacting them, while others turned to friends and family or a GP for support. Almost half of participants, which included a diverse range of identities, said they dealt with their crisis on their own. Read more via Star Observer