Four in five LGBT+ people admit their mental health has been worse during lockdown
Almost four in five LGBT+ people (79%) say that coronavirus lockdown has made their mental health worse.
Rates of depression, anxiety and loneliness have skyrocketed. Moreover, young, trans, black and Asian LGBT+ people have particularly struggled.
That’s according to a new survey of 2,333 LGBT+ people by health and wellbeing site OutLife.
It found that 24% of LGBT+ people said they were depressed ‘very often’ or ‘every day’ before lockdown. But during lockdown this increased to 43%.
Meanwhile 34% of LGBT+ people suffered anxiety ‘very often’ or ‘every day’ before. But during lockdown this rose to 50%.
Moreover, the number of LGBT+ people who say they are lonely ‘very often’ or ‘every day’ has also risen sharply. Just one in five (21%) suffered frequent loneliness before but this doubled to over half (56%) during lockdown.
Ian Howley is the chief executive of the charity LGBT HERO which runs OutLife.
He said: ‘It’s without any doubt that COVID-19, and the lockdown it brought, has negatively affected LGBTQ+ people.
‘The results are clear and we can see the impact it has had on our community.
‘However, the results must be used to find better ways to support LGBTQ+ people.’
Young, trans and black and Asian people worse off
The researchers also found that lockdown has taken a bigger toll on some parts of the community.
It has particularly harmed young LGBT+ people.
More than two in three (67%) of LGBTQ+ people under 18 frequently felt lonely during lockdown.
Meanwhile 43% of under 18s rated their mental health ‘extremely poor’ or ‘poor’ before lockdown. During lockdown this increases to 69%. And for 18 to 24-year-olds, the figure doubles (33% before and 68% during). Bi people and lesbians have seen similar increases.
Likewise, trans and non-binary people also reported much higher levels of depression, anxiety and loneliness and worse overall mental health.
Black and South Asian LGBTQ+ people were more than twice as likely to experience violence or abuse during lockdown compared to white LGBTQ+ people.
Moreover, black people were more likely to get depressed than others in the community. And black and Asian LGBT+ also suffered higher levels of anxiety. Asian people were the most likely ethnic group to feel more lonely.
Worryingly, this has translated into self-harm for many. This is particularly the case for those aged 18 to 24, where 2% self-harmed before and 9% during lockdown.
Meanwhile trans and non-binary LGBT+ people were twice as likely to self-harm during the quarantine period as before.
And 8% of LGBT+ people have felt at risk of homelessness during lockdown. Likewise, 15% of have suffered violence and abuse – mostly this has been at home and emotional rather than physical.
Finally, people were slightly more likely to drink more. But drug use in the community appears to have dropped.
Published on GayStarNews Read the original article
Author: Tris Reid-Smith