Depressed During Quarantine? You're in Good Company, Study Reveals

Saturday August 8, 2020

Depressed During Quarantine? You're in Good Company, Study Reveals
  (Source:Getty Images)

A survey of LGBT people by the University College London (UCL) and Sussex University (dubbed the "Queerantine Study") "found 69% of respondents suffered depressive symptoms, rising to about 90% of those who had experienced homophobia or transphobia" during the COVID=19 lockdown," the Guardian reports.

"Around a sixth of the 310 respondents to the Queerantine study said they had faced discrimination during the pandemic because of their sexuality. The rate rose to more than a third among those living in homes where they were not open about their identity. Almost 10% of people reported they felt unsafe in their homes."

Study co-author Laia Bécares (from Sussex University) said the pandemic is having a "pernicious impact" on the LGBTQ community's mental health, with younger trans and non-binary people experiencing more discrimination and reporting the highest levels of depression, writes the Guardian.

"Many had to go back in the closet and live with people who either didn't know their sexual orientation or gender identity, or were not supportive of it. The mental health implications are stark," she said.

"One gay man described how his social isolation had become 'unbearable' and was 'destroying my mental health'," said Dylan Kneale, the study's co-author from University College London (UCL).

The Guardian adds that the study concurs with responses from the LGBTQ community they received in an informal survey. "Many younger people said they had been unable to access the support of LGBTQ peers or allies while with their families, and those who had moved in with relatives during lockdown felt they were being pushed back into the closet," the Guardian writes.

The "Queerantine Study" also asks for additional government funding to LGBTQ charities, which are undergoing significant rises in demand during the pandemic.

"Poor LGBTQ+ mental health may remain unchecked without a substantial policy commitment and funding directed to ameliorating health inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic."

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