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Impact of COVID-19 on LGBT Communities in the UK

Category: LGBT, LGBT event, LGBT inclusion, Lgbt diversity, LGBT History Month, PA Housing, COVID-19, LGBT Network, covid, LGBT employee, LGBT history

  • Health Implications

There is still a great deal that is not known about COVID-19, including exactly how it is spread and what the risk factors are. Additionally, there is no robust evidence to demonstrate that LGBT people are more likely to catch COVID-19 or that mortality rates are higher in LGBT communities. However, due to a number of health inequalities that LGBT people experience, some sections of LGBT communities may be at higher risk of being severely affected by the virus.

  • Homelessness

LGBT people are more likely to be homeless. 24% of homeless people aged 16-24 are LGBT17 and 18% of LGBT people have been homeless at some point in their lives, including 25% of trans people.  Homeless people are more likely to be in poor health, less likely to be able to self-isolate effectively, and many will face barriers to accessing primary care without a fixed address.​

LGBT Foundation figures

  • Mental Health

There is a wide range of research to show that LGBT people are disproportionately more likely to have poor mental health. A 2018 study found that 52% of LGBT people had experienced depression in the year preceding the survey. Additionally, 46% of trans people and 31% of cis LGB people thought about taking their life in this time. This compares to 1 in 20 adults in the general population​.

Fa​ctors related to COVID-19 such as having to staying inside, having normal routines disrupted, being unable to see loved ones, and anxiety around health are having a detrimental effect on the mental health of many people. These detrimental effects will disproportionately affect those living with long-term mental health conditions. People may be unable to access professional support for poor mental health, in particular face-to-face support. From 16th March to 5th April 2020 LGBT. Foundation’s helpline saw 13% more calls about mental health compared to the ​period 24th February to 15th March 2020.

  • Social Isolation

LGBT people, and in particular older LGBT people, are more likely to be socially isolated. Research conducted on LGB people aged 50+ in Greater Manchester found that half had experienced feelings of isolation and 12% said they had no-one to turn to if they needed support. 

This is incredibly concerning at a time when, more than ever, vulnerable people are in need of emotional and practical support. We know that LGBT people are already feeling the effects of social isolation as over the last two weeks LGBT Foundation‘s helpline has seen an increase of 64% in calls about isolation. ​

LGBT people are more likely to have a ‘chosen family’. Chosen family describes people viewing their close friends as their family, often due to family rejection. People may be less likely to live with their chosen family compared to their biological family so may be separated from those closest to them at this time.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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PA Housing

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