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Young gay men are six times more likely to be depressed, anxious and suicidal than older men

New research carried out has shown the distressing amount of men under 26 that are more likely to commit suicide or self-harm.

The study published by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and funded by LGBT charity Stonewall quizzed 5,799 men and found gay and bisexual men under the age of 26 are six times more likely to anxious or depressed along with more likely to commit suicide or self harm compared to men over 45.

The study also found figures doubled in black men compared to white and those without an education or degree are also twice as likely to be in danger. Dr Ford Hickson from the London school of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine commented,

“Mental illness is one of the biggest health challenges facing the world today and can affect people from all walks of life. We know the minority groups are at higher risk of poor mental health than the heterosexual majority, however the mental health differences within sexual minorities is unclear.

“Our study showed that among gay and bisexual men, age and ethnicity had a significant impact on mental health, as did income and education. This is possibly because men are better able to cope with homophobia the older they are, or if they are relatively privileged in other areas of their lives.”

Discussing the further dangers to minority groups, Dr Hickson continued,

“Minority groups are usually thought to be more homogenous than they actually are, when in fact there is great variation in health and life situations among this group. What’s clear is that health inequalities among gay and bisexual men mirror those in the broader society.

“Poor mental health is not evenly distributed across race, income or education. We must ensure that access to life-changing support services are targeted to where they are needed most. Everyone has the right to good mental health.”

The Head of Research at Stonewall, April Guasp, commented,

“We’re really pleased to see this further in-depth analysis of mental health issues faced by gay and bisexual men.

“It’s known that a range of factors can increase risk of poor mental health among the population in general and the same holds true for gay and bisexual men. This study contributes to better understanding of the specific risks within LGBT communities and will hopefully lead to more targeted health interventions.”

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