A ‘worrying number’ of LGBTI people feel uncomfortable disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity to their GP
40% of LGBTI people in London suffer from mental health issues, according to a new report.
The report found rates of mental health issues were 15% higher in LGBTI people than the general population.
Released by the London Assembly Health Committee, the report reveals mainstream services do not cater to specific LGBTI needs.
The report states: ‘Without specialist support, LGBTI people will continue to experience mental health inequality, stigma and discrimination.
‘LGBTI people need to be more directly involved in shaping services that meet their needs,’ the report said.
One in ten people identify as LGBTI in London, which accounts for around 800,000 people.
The report also indicates one in six LGBTI people will experience homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic hate crime at some point in their lives.
Mental health issues in LGBTI people: A call to action
The Health Committee calls on Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London to do more.
London Assembly health committee chairman Dr Onkar Sahota said: ‘At the start of LGBT History Month we want this call heard loud and clear by the mayor.
‘Action is needed now to tackle the urgent mental health needs of LGBTI people.
‘Time has run out for some and the mayor needs to take firm and decisive action on his mental health promises to LGBTI Londoners.
The report also calls for a more inclusive approach to training GPs on how to communicate effectively with LGBTI people.
Mental health issues start at the local doctor’s office, but a ‘worrying number’ of LGBTI people feel uncomfortable disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity to their GP.
This results in LGBTI people going ‘back into the closet’ during GP consultations.
Medical staff should ask what pronouns to use and if people have a partner, rather than a boyfriend or girlfriend.