Uni leads £300k research into young suicides

Lancaster University is leading a £300,000 study aimed at reducing self-harm and suicide among young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered.

International research has shown that LGBT adolescents and young adults can be four to seven times more likely to self-harm or have suicidal feelings compared to their heterosexual peers.

They are also more likely to experience homelessness, or drug or alcohol problems.

Queer Futures is a two-year project funded by the Department of Health and is being led by Dr Elizabeth McDermott and Dr Victoria Rawlings of Lancaster University with Dr Liz Hughes of the University of York.

Dr McDermott said: “It is only very recently that the UK Suicide Prevention Strategy has recognised that LGBT people have a higher risk of suicide and self-harm. We are very pleased that the Department of Health are funding the research which will provide the evidence, which is currently missing, to tackle the problem at a national level.”

LGBT young people can feel marginalised in a variety of settings such as school, work, sporting environments, religious institutions or social groups because of discrimination against their gender identity or sexuality. They may also experience rejection from their families. These experiences may put them at increased risk of self-harm and suicide.

Go to www.queerfutures.co.uk for more information, or alternatively go to Twitter at @QueerFutures or Facebook at QFutures.