3 Apr 2016

Concern over LGBTI mental health

8:29 pm on 3 April 2016

New Zealand and Australian psychiatrists are raising concerns over alarming statistics around the mental health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people on both sides of the Tasman.

The psychiatrists' professional body is throwing its weight behind the push for marriage equality in Australia on health grounds.

The trans-Tasman College of Psychiatrists said too great a proportion of non-heterosexual people experienced mental illness and psychological distress.

It said that discrimination and marginalisation they experienced increased the risk of developing mental health issues.

And the psychiatrists said that a lack of marriage equality had a significant and deleterious impact on mental health.

The college made a number of recommendations including that psychiatrists maintain an up to date understanding of LGBTI issues and services in areas such as health care, family violence and aged care should promote "inclusiveness and cultural safety for LGBTI people".

It also recommended that services for children and adolescents should be aware of particular stressors faced by LGBTI young people.

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