Study highlights the cost of poor mental health in LGBTIQA+ Victorians

The poor mental health outcomes of LGBTIQ+ Victorians comes at an economic and financial cost estimated to be as high as $3 billion claims research released today.

Commissioned by Thorne Harbour Health, the report findings from Deloitte show the rate of lifetime mental health for LGBTIQ+ Victorians is 73%, significantly higher than the 46% among the general population.

LGBTIQ+ Victorians are estimated to make up to 10% of the state’s population and their mental health outcomes are driven by a complex set of factors including systemic discrimination and marginalisation within society and the health system more broadly.

“When you look at the rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide, the message is clear – LGBTIQ mental health is in crisis,” said Thorne Harbour Health CEO Simon Ruth.

“For the first time, we can actually see what this crisis costs our communities as well as a compelling economic case for why investing in LGBTIQ+ mental health can benefit all Victorians,” he said.

Luke Condon, Engagement Partner at Deloitte, said the research will allow for a better understanding of the level mental health challenges people experience.

“This comprehensive study clearly shows the economic cost of adverse mental health outcomes in the LGBTIQ+ population and the findings will help us to better understand the prevalence and costs associated. Inclusion enables both participation and productivity and therefore contributes to all Australians. This is an important piece of work on an important issue.”

The full report The Cost of Adverse Mental Health Outcomes in the LGBTIQ+ Victorian Adult Population as well as a summary report are available from the Thorne Harbour Health website at: thorneharbour.org/deloittereport

What were identified as the drivers of poor mental health?

  • Systemic discrimination and marginalisation within society and within the health system
  • Individual and collective trauma from past criminalisation and policing of our identities
  • The impact of so-called conversion practices
  • Isolation from community in regional and rural areas
  • Increased drug and alcohol use
  • The unique community impacts of suicide
  • The intersections of other marginalised identities.

The researchers call for investment in LGBTIQA+ specific mental health services that are run by the community’s organisations. Noting that services need to be culturally diverse.

The researchers say there is also room for improvement in mainstream mental health services to ensure that they are welcoming of LGBTIQA+ clients, highlighting that more focus needs to be put on early intervention strategies.

OIP Staff


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