According to a recent major report, more than half of young LGBT people in England have suffered mental health issues, and 40 per cent have considered suicide, emphasising a growing concern that schools and health services are failing gay teenagers.
According to the report obtained by the Independent, young gay people in England are facing a generational mental health crisis as schools continue to neglect LGBT issues.
The findings of the Youth Chances Project, to be published on Monday, show that 50 per cent have self-harmed and 42 per cent have sought medical help for anxiety or depression.
Led by the charity Metro, the project was the largest social research study into young LGBT people in England, with more than 7,000 16- to 25-year-olds asked about their experiences of education, employment, and health services, as well as relationships.
Metro’s acting chief executive Dr Greg Ussher said: “We are failing LGBTQ young people. The clear message is that they are badly served. What they want most is emotional support and they are not getting it.
“By the age of 13 most are already sure or are questioning their sexuality or gender identity, so we need to ensure all families and schools are equipped to give that support.”
While one in five LGBT pupils admitted to being the victim of physical attacks at school, most did not report them and only a small amount felt the issue was resolved when they did.
Only a quarter of respondents also said they had been taught anything at school about safer sex with a same-sex partner.
Dr Ussher warned that if schools failed to act it would lead to a “hugely increased risk of bullying and abuse; isolation and rejection – all leading to significantly increased levels of depression, self-harm and suicide”.
He added: “We must acknowledge we are facing a crisis. Schools have a key role to play in providing inclusive environments for all young people with zero tolerance of bullying and discrimination and by eliminating the fear of it through education and support.”
LGBT campaigner Peter Tatchell said the project’s findings “should be a wake-up call for the Education Secretary, Michael Gove.
“Every school should be required to teach sex and relationship education that addresses LGBT issues.”