The RaRE report found that 57.1 percent of LGB and 85.2 percent of trans young people have self-harmed at least once. Callum says the acceptance he had from his family was crucial to getting through this period, as well as "seeing and meeting their friends who were happy being gay".Mind is the biggest mental health charity in the UK, and they acknowledge that the scars left by isolation of LGBT youth can lash well into adulthood. "There is still a lack of local services that meet the needs of LGBT people," says Geoff Heyes, Policy and Campaigns Manager. "Mind wants access and availability of mental health services to be truly person-centred, and for commissioners of services to understand the importance of offering genuinely inclusive and LGBT-affirmative support."Lydia Cawson, a 29-year-old gay woman, is currently training to become a mental health practitioner. Part of the reason is because she doesn't believe there is enough accessible help for people of the LGBT community."I suffered a great deal with mental health," she says. "I never received any help for discussing my sexuality, gender and personal identity because these factors were masked by other health concerns. I was anorexic between the ages of 16 and 21 and was constantly being told that it was my rejection of femininity and womanhood. I was challenged to find that connection and 'get better'. There was no consideration that that was part of the problem."
A five-year-long study commissioned by LGBT mental health charity Pace found that 34 percent of young LGB people surveyed had made at least one suicide attempt in their lives. Forty-eight percent of young trans people had attempted suicide.
This is all only the tip of the LGBT mental health iceberg, but we could try to chip it down. As the RaRE report states, full training and LGBT awareness is essential for healthcare professionals – and you can understand why. I've personally heard a 21-year-old gay man under section claim to be suffering discrimination from heavily religious nursing staff.Hyyrylainen-Trett is pretty definitive on how we begin untangling the twisted strings at this problem's heart: same-sex sex education."If there were proper, open sex and relationships education in all schools – discussion of different families and LGBT role models in Britain in the 21st century – then I am certain that children would be more aware of differences, and people wouldn't stand by and allow bullying," he says. This aligns with the campaign to introduce same-sex SRE education, which was further bolstered recently in a call from the National Union of Teachers to discuss sexuality and gender.Last week, Labour announced their LGBT manifesto, "A Better Future for Britain's LGBT Community", in which the party promises to "transform access to mental health services for LGBT next generation". In the same week, an inquest has heard that transgendered woman Mikki Nicholson committed suicide last November after being taunted in the street. Her community psychiatric nurse Clive Guyo said: "She described Carlisle [where she lived] as hostile to people who are different."
"I am 100 percent convinced that the homophobic bullying I received in my teens led me to become so self-destructive and end up deliberately wanting to annihilate myself" – Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, Liberal Democrat PPC for Vauxhall