"Women who identify as LBQ are at an increased risk of developing a common mental health problem such as depression or anxiety than their heterosexual cisgender peers. Sexual minority individuals were almost three times as likely to report suicidal thoughts in a recent study."
Research has shown that this is due to the hostile environment LBQ people are exposed to. The stigma, discrimination and victimisation LBQ people face in everyday life acts as a unique stressor. Of course everyone experiences stress, but homophobic or transphobic behaviour results in additional stress.
LBQ people may incorporate these negative societal views into their self-concept leading to self-stigmatisation, which further disproportionally compromises their mental health and well-being. This increased stress and negative self-view can lead to feelings of hopelessness and maladaptive coping strategies such as obsessing over or avoiding certain situations.
Young LBQ people may be at even greater risk of poor mental health as identity related stress is particularly likely to impair health during this developmental period where people may have less developed coping skills than older adults.
However, the majority of people who identify as LBQ do not have mental health problems. So why is it that some LBQ people develop mental health problems and others don’t? That is something we’re not entirely sure about. There is evidence that having a supportive family and social network can have a positive, buffering effect. But what else can help people cope with the additional stress? We’re interested in finding out what behaviours or thought processes act as helpful coping strategies.
Our research will increase our knowledge in this area and help inform interventions designed to promote psychological wellbeing among all sexual and gender minorities.
We are recruiting College and University students who identify as LGBT+ to take part in an online study. It will involve 3 online surveys to be completed 1 month apart. They include questions asking about your sexuality, gender identity, age and ethnicity, your beliefs about yourself and possible symptoms of depression, anxiety and suicidality.
Participation should take approximately thirty minutes at each time point. This is important research for our community so please consider taking part if you are eligible.
Find out more or take part in the study: lgbtresearch.wix.com/info