Let's Talk mental health & the LGBT+ Community

As you may already be aware the LGBT+ community have a devastatingly high number of people suffering with mental health issues. There is strong evidence to suggest that identifying as LGBT+ puts you at higher risk of experiencing poor mental health, suffering with issues such as depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and alcohol and substance misuse. Mental health issues are higher in the LGBT+ community than the national average, with 3 in 5 suffering with anxiety and a staggering 52% suffering with depression which is why we felt the need to bring this issue to light.

On the 10th of July we held our Let's Talk mental health & the LGBT+ community. We were joined by Charlotte Cooke and Lawrence Roberts from the LGBT Foundation and Charlotte Summers, LGBT Blogger and editor of UniteUK, each of which sat on the panel of the event. From the very start of the event our audience was active in conversations surrounding the LGBT+ community and it was evident to see many felt passionate about this subject.

The event started off with our host Luke asking the audience to raise their hands if they had heard of the bus attack on a female couple in London a few months ago, every single person raised their hand. Luke then went onto shed light onto two more homophobic attacks that have also happened this year. The sad truth is that attacks like this happen every day, 1 in 5 people (within the LGBT+ Community) in the last 12 months have experienced some sort of hate crime due to their sexuality yet 4 out of 5 of these incidents don’t get reported. It is clear to see the links between these sort of incidents and poor mental health.

After hearing some of our audiences opinions on the prevalence of mental health issues within the LGBT+ community, we then opened the floor to our three panellist who each had a specific area of knowledge as well as their own unique experiences.

Charlotte Summers spoke of the prejudice she faced because she doesn't fit the stereotypical 'lesbian' image. She spoke of how people regularly invalidate her relationship and how people have even said she isn't a lesbian because she looks feminine and has long hair.

Charlotte Cooke from the LGBT Foundation had an equally poignant experience. She explained she was most nervous to come out at work due to the lack of experience with women that she had had up to the point. This led me to think, how many time does one have to come out? and how nerve wracking must that be every single time.

The event questions were a mixture of the hosts and the audiences which each panellist answered in great depth. Some really interesting topics of discussions were held during the event , most of which we captured on video which we shall be releasing in due course.

We'd like to thank everyone who came and our panel guests and we look forward to holding our next #LetsTalk event.