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First support group for Hillingdon gay-lesbian mental health sufferers
HILLINGDON'S first support group for lesbian, gay and bisexual people with mental health issues has been launched by mental health charity Hillingdon Mind.
It will offer weekly social group meetings, trips, a mentoring and buddying system and other activities decided on by members.
Hillingdon Mind has hired project coordinator Lukasz Konieczka to run the support group, which is still in its infancy.
"Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are more likely to experience mental health problems due to social isolation and prejudice attached to those identities," he said. "If we add to it the stigma attached to mental health, we have a very vulnerable group."
He says not enough is being done to support the LGBT community in London, due to a lack of funding and services.
Research shows that LGBT people are ten times more likely to commit suicide than heterosexuals and that LGBT people demonstrate higher rates of anxiety and depression.
Compared to heterosexual counterparts:
• LGB people demonstrate higher rates of anxiety and depression
• lesbians and bisexual women may be at more risk of substance dependency
• LGB people have been shown to be at greater risk of deliberate self-harm.
• gay and bisexual young men appear to be particularly vulnerable to suicide
• gay and bisexual men are five and a half times more likely to have deliberately self-harmed
• lesbian and bisexual women are two times more likely to have deliberately self-harmed
From Hillingdon Mind:
• More than a quarter of gay men and almost a third of lesbians have self-harmed themselves deliberately, compared with one in seven heterosexuals
• LGBT people are 10 times more likely to commit suicide
• Those who are LGB are three times more likely to have anxiety disorders and up to six times more likely to have depression