LGBTIQ+ mental health study shows need for more support funding

A new study from the University of Tasmania focusing on the health and social needs of LGBTIQ+ folks in a COVID-19 world has shone a light on the need for increased funding and accessibility of services.

The Australian first conducted by UTas researchers surveyed LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians and revealed concerns surrounding mental health, loneliness, health care discrimination, community connection and family relationships.

Lead researcher Dr Ruby Grant says the results show LGBTIQ+ people want to receive support from LGBTIQ+ organisations, but some are concerned about the future of such services in a post-pandemic economy.

“Our study confirms what research from overseas already shows, the health and social needs of LGBTIQ people can both suffer disproportionately and be overlooked by the authorities during public health emergencies,” Dr Grant said.

“The solutions are more funding for LGBTIQ support services and for the needs of LGBTIQ people to be factored into public health emergency planning.”

“We will seek meetings with the Premier Peter Gutwein, Health Minister Sarah Courtney, and Emergency Services Minister Mark Shelton, to explain our findings and their implications.”

Recommendations drawn from survey results include additional resources to support LGBTIQ+ organisations after COVID-19, additional mental health specific services, the inclusion of COVID-19 specific impacts in future training and LGBTIQ+ inclusion in public health emergency planning.

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