PACE, London’s leading charity promoting the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBT community, is launching an additional online service.

It’s new Virtual Support Project will provide wellbeing assessments, a message board, along with the opportunity for 1-2-1 chats.

According to research gay and bisexual men are five times as likely to have self-harmed.

Meanwhile, lesbians and bisexual women are four times as likely to be at risk of substance abuse as straight women.

Levels of suicide, deliberate self-harm and drug and alcohol abuse are also significantly higher amongst LGBT people than for their heterosexual counterparts.

Poorer mental health amongst LGBT people is linked to discrimination, bullying, homophobia, pressure to conform and poor self-esteem.

PACE Chief Executive Margaret Unwin said: “We see our new online platform as a key service for the LGBT community.  Our own practice and research shows that LGBT people are isolated and may feel afraid to seek professional help or access mental health care.  Unfortunately mainstream services don’t always understand their issues”.

Virtual Support Project Manager Rachel Booles added: “The Virtual Support Project will provide an easily accessible, free and anonymous source of support for many vulnerable LGBT individuals out there.

“This service expands our services beyond London to give us a national reach. There will be expert advice provided which service users can access and an assessment tool so they can monitor their progress. Peer support will be offered through message boards and chat, moderated by a team of highly trained volunteers.”

For more information about PACE’s services go to pacehealth.org.uk

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