By- Narayani Gupta
“Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start.”–Jason Collins,
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender ,queer people must face social unfairness or insecurity. Mental health is different from being healthy and this community face more complications in curing their mental health rather than normal people of society. Being LGBTIQ+ itself does not led to these negative mental issues but discrimination, social isolation and because of environment where they cannot come out and talk about them. I remember my own experience once with gay boy at my school and I saw how he was being mocked because of looks and way of walking and I talked to him once, he told me that they always laugh at me because of his condition and this shows that from younger age discrimination starts and in these children’s mind these bad situations settles and they carry on it for whole life.
Mental health can have positive impact too on someone’s health and comfort but seeing to the society’s rigid opinion for them, it does not seem like that they will be having positive affect more than negatives ones. Recent studies discovered that mental health services are used by LGBTQ+ at 2.5 times greater than the heterosexuals. Research founded that these people face health disparities because of the exclusion from their civil and fundamental rights. This community is marginalized section of the society in India ad due to prejudice on social level, they face legal, social as well as economic difficulties. In India from 2009 –2019 Depression and Suicide rated were 4.5%. Lesbian women avoided mental health due to society’s pressure and taunts. LGBTQ in India was depressed more because of engaging in Transactional sexual practices. Main aim of the 2011 India census counted transgender population to describe the overall situation of India Transgender in terms of their demographic, socio- economic as well as health conditions and this study was the first time when it utilizes the census data to achieve its aim. To put light on their health situation this study uses the NACP PHASE-III Report 2007- 2012. Result of the study was more than people in India who have not showed their identity due to social stigmas and fear of inequality. These people are deprived of basic healthcare facilities and employment rates is also too low which forces them to indulge into sex work and they get affected by STI’S and other acute health problem. Past year studies also showed, from whole LGBTQ community suicide was tried by 40 percent of them and this is very higher than what in United states. More than half of them is under Depression (61%), PTSD (45%), anxiety disorder (36%). According to the 2015 U.S. TRANSGENDER SURVEY showed that who are perceived as transgender faced mistreatment like verbal harassment 54%, physically aggression (24%) and sexually offended (13%) in school and 30% persons who were employed got expelled or didn’t get proper salary or any gender discrimination.40% of them have tried suicide in their life 9 Times higher than U.S. population.33% of them got discriminated by health care providers because of their gender and they were not provided with right facilities and this is because of traditional customs. LGBTQ with disabilities also faced bad behavior from others and psychiatric disorder (59%). In Britain study was conducted by Stonewall and result was that 1 in 8 LGBTIQ+ people age (18-24) had tried to suicide and 3 in 5 faced anxiety issues and panic attacks. Those were different researches or surveys done by different nations or countries over what mental issues they face and what were the consequences.
And now how different countries tackled the mental health problems of these people so that they can live happily and satisfied in their life. In July 2017, the Government of UK launched a national survey of LGBT people and in this survey asked questions from them about healthcare, education, personal safety. This was the largest of the world because of the response’s quantity. Main visions of them were: 1)-To ensure that their health needs are given priority by healthcare services, by appointing National Advisor.2)-To ensure very child feels safe in education, and can reach to their potential. 3)- To ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect. 4)- To ensure that all society prejudices can be removed from it and many more. Funding of this plan will be done by The Government Equalities and that is £4.5 million.77% LGBT-specific charities were helpful when seeking support, and specially for health they will enhance fertility services, improve the way gender identity services work for them, by supporting sexual orientation, help in tackling the pressure of body image in youths which they face at home or schools and last by helping LGBT people with disabilities. In 2019 National Survey of Drug use and Health: Lesbian, Gay and bisexual is contributing to develop supply and expand Health care services for LGBT community, for example: I)-They brief a document that is the part of toolkit which helps LGBT people in having their Health Insurance Plans. 2)- Giving resource guide to help families to support their children.3)-By making medical departments aware of Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.4)-Ending Conversion therapy for youth.5)-By providing reports which have information about Sexual Orientation to people which lives or exists with LGBTQ people so that they can accept them.6)-By giving them training circulars. In India for improving mental health, it was discovered that Affirmative counselling and Community building are two steps which can help to have LGBTQ have positive environment and mindset. This counselling helps these people to accept themselves as they are and come out and make their own name or identity. It will help them to know about their self-worth. Community building by both society members and care providers plays vital role in making mental health of LGBTQ people better.
Society should accept these people as their own, those are too humans with their rights, which they have full freedom to exercise.