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3 out of 4 LGBTQ+ Australians will experience mental ill-health

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The National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing gathered data from more than 26,000 people between 2020-2022. The ABS has now analysed this data to provide a more specific picture of LGBTQ+ experiences.
75% of LGBTQ+ Australians will live with mental ill-health at some point in their lives

LGBTQ+ Australians are at a significantly higher risk of mental ill-health, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing gathered data from more than 26,000 people between 2020-2022. The ABS has now analysed this data to provide a more specific picture of LGBTQ+ experiences.

It found 75% of LGBTQ+ people will experience mental ill-health in their life, compared to around 40% of heterosexual Australians.

Note: This post includes data on suicide and self harm.

The study

In its findings, the ABS merged responses from people who identified as asexual, pansexual, or queer into one group. The study did not include reliable data from intersex people.

The ABS found more than one in three young people had experienced mental ill-health at some point in their lives.

It found non-binary and transgender people are significantly more likely to self-harm.

Mental ill-health

Prevalence of mental ill-health was significantly higher for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people compared to heterosexual people, reflected here as a percentage:

Gender breakdown

The percentage of non-binary people who had lived with mental ill-health at some stage in their lives was much higher than cisgender people.

Self-harm

Rates of self-harm among lesbian, gay, and bisexual people were at over 41%. That’s compared to 7% of heterosexual people.

The data analysed gender and self-harm and found nearly 73% of non-binary people experienced self-harm compared to 8% of cisgender people.

Almost half of all lesbian, gay, and bisexual respondents said they had seriously considered taking their life at some point, compared to 15.3% of heterosexual people. This number was higher for people who identified as pansexual, asexual, or queer.

Response

Peak body LGBTIQ+ Health Australia said LGBT+ people continue to face “stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and abuse”, which is reinforced in the ABS data.

CEO Nicky Bath said: “These results highlight the need to foster protective factors that promote mental health and wellbeing.

She said this includes: “Creating a sense of belonging, establishing support networks and relationships, and ensuring access to gender affirming health care for trans and gender diverse people.”

Lifeline: 13 11 14

QLife: 1800 084 527

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

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