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More than 70% of LGBT people have experienced mental health issues because of work

Lydia Smith October 8, 2018

LGBT+ employees experience a significant pay gap, a survey suggests (Pexels)

Nearly three-quarters of LGBT people have experienced mental health issues because of work, a survey has found.

The poll, commissioned by Business in the Community with HR firm Mercer, found 72 percent of LGBT people have experience problems as a result of work.

A quarter of LGBT employees (26 percent) said they had hidden their identity at work in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination, it also found.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, was published ahead of World Mental Health Day and shows LGBT people are disproportionately affected by mental health issues.

Twenty-nine percent of bisexual employees said they had hidden their identity (Creative Commons)

The results show only 60 percent of LGBT employees feel comfortable being open about their sexual orientation at work, while 32 percent of managers have disguised that they are LGBT due to fear of discrimination.

Twenty-nine percent of bisexual employees said they had hidden their identity.

BAME LGBT employees are more than twice as likely as white employees to have experienced negativity from customers and clients (23 percent compared to 11 percent).

Seven percent have been physically attacked by colleagues or customers in the last year, rising to 15 percent of BAME people, 20 percent of non-binary people and 30 percent of senior leaders.

The research calls for employers to break the culture of silence that surrounds mental health and to invest in basic mental health literacy for all employees.

World Mental Health Day is marked on 10th October

A study published earlier this year found nearly half of LGBT employees stay in the closet at work.

The research, conducted by the Human Rights Campaign, found that 46 percent of LGBT employees in the US hide their sexuality at their place of employment.

This represented just a four percent drop from HRC’s 2008 Degrees of Equality report, which was created before Barack Obama’s presidency, before same-sex marriage was legalised across the US and before transgender rights became a prominent issue in the civil rights struggle.

More than half of workers (53 percent) said they had heard jokes about lesbian or gay people at least once in a while at work.

A further one in five queer employees reported to HRC that they had been told or had colleagues imply that they should dress in a more feminine or masculine manner.

Nearly one-in-three LGBT+ people said they had felt unhappy or depressed at work.

More: depression, Health, mental health, world mental health day

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