Almost 65 per cent of young Londoners who identify as LGBT+ have contemplated suicide

By Rachael Burford, local democracy reporter

Almost 65 per cent of young Londoners who identify as LGBT+ have contemplated suicide, new research has found.

LGBT+ students are also twice as likely to have experienced depression compared to peers who identify as straight, according to the report by Just Like Us.

The charity surveyed almost 3,000 UK students aged 11 to 18, including 151 across 35 London schools.

Overall in the UK 68 per cent of LGBT+ young people said they have experienced suicidal thoughts and feelings.

It found 64 per cent of LGBT+ pupils in the capital had contemplated taking their own life – compared to 39 per cent of their peers who identified as straight.

The research suggests that schools where LGBT+ issues are discussed and talked about positivity have far fewer students who contemplate taking their own life.

Nearly 70 per cent of pupils who also received positive messaging about being LGBT+ said they felt safe in school, compared to the 49 per cent of LGBT+ pupils who did not have the same education.

It comes as school’s celebrate Diversity Week, which promotes LGBT+ equality in education.

Dozens of London schools are taking part, including Charlton Park Academy in Greenwich, Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets, UCS in Hampstead, Greig City Academy in Hornsey and Harris Academy in Tottenham.

Students have been watching online classes about LGBT+ history by the Museum of London, as well as a panel on faith organised by Just Like Us, which featured a lesbian rabbi, a gay imam and a trans priest

Dominic Arnall, Chief Executive of Just Like Us, said: “We’ve seen in our independent research that LGBT+ young people are disproportionately struggling with their mental health, feeling less safe in school and facing more tension at home.

“We’re delighted that thousands of schools across the UK are celebrating School Diversity Week this week and ensuring that young people get the message that: LGBT+ people exist and that’s OK.

“It may sound simple, but the message can be transformational – our independent research found that having positive messaging about being LGBT+ in schools is linked with all pupils having better mental health, whether they’re LGBT+ or not.”

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