Almost three quarters of young LGBT+ people in Wales have had suicidal thoughts and feelings
Almost three-quarters of young LGBT+ people in Wales have had suicidal thoughts and feelings, according to new research.
73% of LGBT+ young people in Wales told charity Just Like Us that they experienced these feelings, compared with 67% in England. The figure was however lower than Scotland and Northern Ireland where 79% and 82% said they had.
The charity’s chief executive Dominic Arnall is calling for schools to send a positive message of acceptance to their LGBT+ pupils, who are particularly struggling at this time.
He said: “We very saddened to see so many LGBT+ youth have had suicidal thoughts and feelings – they need to hear from their schools, parents and carers that it’s okay to be themselves.
“We really hope even more primary schools, secondary schools and colleges will join us this year in taking part in School Diversity Week – a great way for schools to demonstrate to their pupils that they are able to be themselves.”
The survey of 2,934 secondary school pupils (1,140 of whom were LGBT+) across the UK also found the pandemic is disproportionately impacting the mental health of LGBT+ young people.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans young people are more than twice as likely to worry daily about their mental health (55%) than their non-LGBT+ counterparts (26%).
They are also twice as likely to feel lonely, with 52% reporting they feel lonely every day, compared to 27% of non-LGBT+ pupils.
And at home, one in four (25%) of LGBT secondary school pupils said they were experiencing daily tensions where they are living, such as arguments with the family, compared with just 15% of non-LGBT young people.
Meanwhile, almost half (48%) of secondary school pupils in the UK say they have received little to zero positive messaging at school about being LGBT+ at all in the last 12 months.
LGBT+ pupils feel far less safe at school, the research also found. Only 58% of LGBT+ young people in the UK have felt safe at school on a daily basis in the past 12 months, compared to 73% of non-LGBT+ pupils.
Primary schools, secondary schools and colleges can sign up to School Diversity Week for free at www.justlikeus.org