Almost 80 per cent of LGBT Australians have suffered from intense anxiety in the past year alone, according to a new survey released today. 

More than 4000 people, between ages 16 and 89, who self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender were surveyed in a study organised by La Trobe University and Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria. Almost half of the respondents said they hid their sexuality or gender identity in a range of situations, fearing violence and discrimination.

In addition, while three in four participants had a regular GP, less than 70 per cent were open about it with their practitioners.

Liam Leonard, a research fellow at La Trobe said this study clearly showed that LGBT Australians suffered poorer mental health than the population at large. “The most common health conditions among participants were depression and anxiety/nervous disorders,” he added.

The full study and its results — supported by a national depression initiative ‘beyondblue,’ the university and the government of Victoria — will be unveiled tomorrow by the state’s Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge, and beyondblue’s chairman, Jeff Kennett.