Home > Supporting LGBT lives: A study of the mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Mayock, Paula and Bryan, Audrey and Carr, Nicola and Kitching, Karl (2008) Supporting LGBT lives: A study of the mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Dublin: Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) and BeLonGTo.

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This research set out to examine mental health and well-being, including an investigation of suicide vulnerability (risk) and resilience, among LGBT people in Ireland. A survey instrument, which took approximately 15-20 minutes to complete online, was designed to capture the experiences of LGBT people living in Ireland in a variety of settings and contexts. This instrument included demographic variables, schooling experiences, perceptions of belonging, victimisation and harassment, workplace experiences, and patterns of alcohol use. Indicators of mental health and well-being were also ascertained, including history of self-injurious behaviour and attempted suicide.

In the community assessment process phase of the research a total of 14 interviews were conducted. Specific interview topics and questions targeted experiences that may have been challenging, difficult or stressful (e.g. experiences of discrimination, homophobic bullying, stress associated with ‘coming out’ to family and peers). Questions also focussed where relevant on respondents’ experience of depression, anxiety and loneliness and on their use of alcohol and/or drugs. Other sections of the interview concentrated on positive experiences and protective factors.

P.16 Alacohol use
Prevalence
• Ninety two percent of the survey sample were current drinkers, about half of whom consumed alcohol on a weekly basis.
• The vast majority of survey respondents who drank (84%) also reported that they engaged in heavy episodic or ‘binge’ drinking either intermittently or regularly, a fifth of whom did so at least twice a week.

Problem drinking
• Over 40% of survey respondents reported that their alcohol consumption made them ‘feel bad or guilty’ and that almost 60% felt they should reduce their intake of alcohol.
• Responses to standardised measures of alcohol use (CAGE and AUDIT-C) suggest that the alcohol consumption patterns of a significant minority of online survey participants could be characterised as problematic, as they exceeded the threshold for hazardous drinking or probable alcohol misuse.
• Qualitative findings suggest that regular or heavy alcohol consumption was strongly associated with a felt need to ‘mask’ distressing emotional states and that some used alcohol as a coping mechanism or a form of self-medication.


Date:2008
Pages:162 p.
Publisher:Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) and BeLonGTo
Place of Publication:Dublin
ISBN:978-0-9561023-2-4
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Subjects:G Health and disease > State of health > Mental health
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
B Substances > Alcohol
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence
T Demographic characteristics > Homosexual, gay, bisexual or lesbian, LGBTI

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