High suicide risk amongst gay men

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A mental health report will highlight a prevalence of self harm, suicide contemplation and poor mental health amongst gay and bisexual men in Northern Ireland, at a Belfast conference today.

The three year study, Out on Your Own, conducted by the Rainbow Project, reveals a quarter of gay men have attempted suicide, two thirds have considered it and 30 per cent have self harmed.

According to the research, homophobic attitudes and a lack of resources on mental and emotional conditions, play a big part in difficulties amongst the country’s gay community.

Rainbow Project officials are calling on the government to provide funding and better education to combat the trends.

Report author, Helen McNamee, said: “It is imperative the recommendations of this report are taken on board and that the mental health needs of young gay and bisexual men are addressed by everyone who works with young people.”

Over 200 respondents took part in the survey which included questionnaires and face to face interviews aimed at gay and bisexual men under 25 in Northern Ireland.