Today, Shadow Minister for Public Health, Diane Abbott MP, will address the National LGBT Health Summit on the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Britain. The conference will assess the impact of social and emotional isolation on the general health of LGBT people, in particular looking at the barriers individuals face when trying to access the health and social care services that they need.
Delegates at the Summit will also be looking at other key LGBT health issues including: the particular needs of older and younger LGBT people, those living with HIV and transgender people; and the impact of current health and social care reforms.
Ms Abbott's keynote address comes on the day that new findings are announced on the realities of being young and LGBT in England today. METRO's Youth Chances is the biggest social research and influencing project of its kind, and is surveying LGBT and questioning (LGBTQ) young people aiming to find out about their experiences of access to education, employment, health services, their community and relationships.
Over the course of the next three years the project aims to conduct two surveys of 15,000 16-25 year olds in total. In its first three months, Youth Chances has already surveyed 2,840 people from up and down the country, with initial findings painting a stark picture of the level of discrimination against and the problems faced by young LGBTQ young people in Britain today.
- 74% of respondents have experienced name calling/ verbal abuse because they are LGBTQ or people think they are LGBT.
- 47% of respondents have experienced threats/ intimidation because they are LGBTQ or people think they are LGBT.
- 47% of respondents have experienced harassment because they are LGBTQ or people think they are LGBT.
- 25% of have experienced physical assault because they are LGBTQ or people think they are LGBT.
- Over half of LGBQ respondents (53%) have hurt themselves on purpose (self-harmed).
- 67% of female LGBQ respondents have hurt themselves on purpose, compared to 36% of male LGBQ respondents
- Three-quarters (75%) of transgender respondents have hurt themselves on purpose, with a staggering 27% still actively self-harming.
- The reported rate of self-harm amongst LGBTQ young people is higher than national statistics show; with respondents to the Youth Chances survey reporting rates of self-harm that are nearly 4 times higher in women and 5 times higher in men.
Dr Greg Ussher, Chair of the LGBT Health Summit 2012 Consortium and Deputy CEO of Metro, said:
"The National LGBT Health Summit is in its 7th year of striving to raise awareness of and break down the socio-economic barriers to LGBT people's health and wellbeing and to continue to advance the health equality agenda. As our National Health Service undergoes dramatic re-organisation and the UK economy stagnates yet further, it is now more important than ever that we promote the fundamental right of all LGBT people, young and old, to equitable and accessible health and social care services. Initial findings from the Youth Chances survey paint a worrying picture; the alarming rates of self-harm amongst young LGBTQ people are particular cause for concern and present serious implications for public service provision. This has to be a wake-up call and must provide us all with a revived impetus to secure this change for future generations."
The National LGBT Health Summit is being held at the University of Canterbury, Kent, on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th September. For more information visit www.lgbthealth.co.uk
Notes to Editor
About the National LGBT Summit
1. Established in 2006, this year's LGBT Health Summit will be hosted by the LGBT Health Summit 2012 Consortium which is led by Metro and our other partners: Kent Community Health NHS Trust; Kent Transgender Forum; Kent & Medway LGBT Community Reference Group; Kent County Council; and the Centre for Gender, Sexuality and Law at the University of Kent.
2. The Consortium is working in partnership with other national and local statutory and voluntary organisations including Stonewall, UNISON, the Consortium of LGBT VCOs, Canterbury City Council, Kent County Council, Kent and Medway NHS & Social Care Partnership Trust, Kent and Medway NHS and Kent Police.
About Youth Chances
3. Youth Chances is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and is led by Metro in partnership with the University of Greenwich and Ergo Consulting. It is a five year social research project working directly with individuals, providers and commissioners to influence service provision and policy for 16-25 year old LGBTQ youth. www.youthchances.org
4. Statistics are based on a sample of respondents of 2,840 collected up to 15th August 2012 and they represent interim findings
5. The sample is a fair representation of nationally estimated LGBT regional populations and of ethnicity - at this stage.
6. A full briefing and statistical breakdown is available on request.
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