A study of gay and bisexual teenagers in New Zealand has suggested that half of them have deliberately harmed themselves in the past year.

The research, carried out by the University of Auckland, also found that around a third of respondents had thought seriously about attempting suicide.

The full report will be released tomorrow, but according to GayNZ.com, it will show that gay and bisexual teens have higher rates of alcohol and drug use, STIs and mental ill-health than their heterosexual counterparts.

However, there was good news in better reported friendships and a decrease in smoking rates since a similar survey from 2000.

Nathan Brown, a spokesman for youth at the NZ AIDS Foundation, said: “The improvements are wonderful, however it’s very clear that the rates of bullying and isolation that same-sex attracted youth reported have real and serious consequences for these young people.

“By addressing the issues affecting same-sex attracted young people schools will improve learning outcomes for all students by teaching how to succeed in a diverse society.”