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The link between workplace discrimination and mental health issues for marginalised communities

Category: Mental Health, LGBT, Discrimination, marginalised communities, diversity inclusion

LGBT+ workers have higher rates of mental health problems

LGBT+ communities and their supporters have fought to change public attitudes for the better. However, despite significant successes, challenges still remain, particularly in the area of wellbeing and mental health.

A 2017 Public Health Matters article uncovers startling indicators of serious mental health issues in LGBT+ people. The number of young people who reported self-harm was 52% among LGBT+ respondents, compared to 25% of others questioned. The rate of suicidal thoughts almost doubled for LGBT+ respondents (44% versus 26%).

Workplaces must end LGBT+ discrimination

The workplace must take greater action against discrimination, or risk losing talented workers. According to a recent Stonewall report, more than a third of LGBT+ staff have hidden their sexual orientation at work. For trans people, the situation is worse, with more than half concealing their identity.

Protecting self-esteem, reducing anxiety and depression

Concealing identity in the workplace highlights a key factor in mental health concern. Low self-esteem, anxiety and depression are the building blocks of mental health issues. The Mental Health Foundation identifies a range of ways to promote good mental health including self-acceptance.

VERCIDA actively supports with employers to foster values of inclusion and diversity. The employers on our jobs database take positive steps, so all staff feel safe to be themselves at work.

Do anti LBGT+ discrimination laws offer protection?

It’s long been acknowledged that discrimination and marginalisation have a negative impact on mental health. The 2010 Equality Act includes protections for those with mental health issues, where they’re serious and defined as a disability. It’s less clear about the need to prevent external causes of stresses and anxieties which result in ongoing health problems.

Promoting LGBT inclusion at work

In January 2017, the Prime Minister announced a working committee to improve mental health issues. The Government’s LGBT action plan recognises LGBT+ people have increased depression, anxiety and stress compared to the rest of the population. These measures emphasise the importance of partnerships with employers, to improve mental health and support LGBT+ people in the workplace.

Top employers protect the mental health and wellbeing of all their staff by making sure diversity is visible and celebrated. Browse jobs at inclusive workplaces here.

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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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