Four in Five LGBTQ+ people say mental health has taken a hit during lockdown.
Updated: Jun 17
79% report mental health taking a hit as a new survey of 2333 LGBTQ+ people finds big shifts in LGBTQ+ people experiencing depression, anxiety and loneliness due to lockdown.
A new survey of 2333 LGBTQ+ people found that nearly four in five say their mental health has been negatively affected by lockdown. The survey conducted by health and wellbeing site, OutLife showed that the vast majority of LGBTQ+ people also experienced big shifts in depression, anxiety and loneliness since lockdown began, with young people taking the biggest hit. The findings found that lockdown has severely impacted LGBTQ+ people’s mental health.
Almost four in five (79%) LGBTQ+ people said that their mental health had been negatively impacted by the coronavirus lockdown.
Before lockdown 24% of LGBTQ+ people said they were depressed “very often” or “every day”. During lockdown this increased to 43%.
Before lockdown, 34% of LGBTQ+ people said they experienced anxiety “very often” or “every day”. During lockdown this increases to 50%.
However, loneliness has become an epidemic during lockdown, especially for young people.
There has been an explosion in loneliness. Before lockdown 21% of LGBTQ+ people said they experienced loneliness “very often” or “every day”. During lockdown this more than doubles to 56%.
Epidemic of loneliness among young people: more than two in three (67%) of under 18 LGBTQ+ people felt lonely "very often" or "every day" during lockdown.
The consequences of lockdown have not been spread equally among the LGBTQ+ community:
15% of LGBTQ+ reported experiencing violence or abuse during lockdown.
Black and South Asian LGBTQ+ people were more than twice as likely to experience violence or abuse during lockdown compared to white LGBTQ+ people.
8% of LGBTQ+ people have felt at risk of homelessness during lockdown.
Ian Howley, the Chief Executive of LGBT HERO, the parent organisation of OutLife commented on the results of this survey. 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. We need to find better ways to support people to tackle the high numbers of people who are suffering from depression, anxiety and loneliness. We also need to find better ways to support those who are experiencing both physical and emotional abuse. Young LGBTQ+ people are also in need of better support systems as they are the ones who are suffering the most. And we must do better to support black, Asian and other minorities who are disproportionately affected during this time.
Ian continues, "Although we are entering a period where lockdown has eased there is no guarantee that we won't be back in the same situation as April and May. It's important that we future proof our support systems to make sure we can better respond to those who need it. It's our recommendation that we build these support systems now rather than later. We need to be able to support those who are suffering from mental wellbeing issues, feeling isolated or alone and those who are in dangerous living situations. We hope these results will help build these systems. But it's not just about now. The impact of this virus will likely have long-term health and wellbeing issues for many people, it's important that we continue to monitor how LGBTQ+ people are doing and continue to shape our services to meet their needs."
Ian calls on the government for more support. He said, “To do this we need the government to step in and support LGBTQ+ charities who are doing this work. Although the government has released funds for non-profits during the coronavirus pandemic, it doesn’t go far enough and charities, like ourselves, tend to fly under the radar and miss out on a lot of the funding that’s available. OutLife was designed to be an online first response in supporting those who need information, advice and support, especially during a crisis like we are living through today. It supports over 50,000 LGBTQ+ a month. It’s important LGBTQ+ services, like OutLife, survive so we all can continue to be there for LGBTQ+ people when they need us.
To read the results in full visit, www.outlife.org.uk/the-lgbtq-lockdown-wellbeing-report
Info for editors:
Contact Ian Howley: firstname.lastname@example.org | 077 67058999 | @ianhowley
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OutLife is the health and wellbeing site brought to you by LGBT HERO. OutLife was set up in 2017 to tackle the high numbers of LGBTQ+ people experiencing mental health issues and dying by suicide while also tackling the wider health and social inequalities LGBTQ+ people face. OutLife offers trusted information, advice and support, including a popular peer-support forums. OutLife currently supports over 50,000 LGBTQ+ people a month. For more information visit, www.OutLife.org.uk
About LGBT HERO:
LGBT HERO is the Health Equality and Rights Organisation for LGBTQ+ people. LGBT HERO is the parent organisation of:
GMFA - the gay men’s health project.
OutLife - for a happier, healthier LGBTQ+ community.
LGBT HERO aims to improve the health, enhance the wellbeing and champion the rights of LGBTQ+ people. We recognise LGBTQ+ people as: lesbian; gay; bisexual; transgender; queer; questioning; intersex; asexual; and any other person who self-identifies within the LGBTQ+ umbrella.
LGBT HERO provides LGBTQ+ people with accurate and credible information so they can build skills that enable them to make informed choices about their health and wellbeing. We encourage LGBTQ+ people to create social change in our communities by providing a platform where they are heard and valued. This mission is a guiding principle governing all of our work.