New Data Confirms Need for Focus on LGBTIQ+ Mental Health and Wellbeing - LGBTIQ+ Health Australia

New Data Confirms Need for Focus on LGBTIQ+ Mental Health and Wellbeing

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) today called for urgent responses across Australia on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other sexuality, gender, and bodily diverse people’s (LGBTQ+) mental health, responding to a new article, Mental health findings for LGBTQ+ Australians, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) 2020-2022 National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing. 

“New ABS data confirms LGBTQ+ people experience mental ill health at rates two to four times higher than the broader population,” LHA CEO Nicky Bath said. 

“These adverse mental health outcomes relate directly to the stigma, prejudice, discrimination and abuse that LGBTQ+ people have experienced and continue to experience.” 

“These results highlight the need to foster protective factors that promote mental health and wellbeing—such as creating a sense of belonging, establishing support networks and relationships, and ensuring access to gender affirming health care for trans and gender diverse people,” Ms Bath said. 

It is the first time this study has used the ABS Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables, 2020 (ABS 2020 Standard),1 providing the first official national data on LGBTIQ+ populations’ mental health.  

“LHA congratulates the ABS on using the ABS 2020 Standard in this national study. This reinforces the need for the inclusion of the 2020 Standard in the 2026 Census, to provide valuable mental health and wellbeing data for LGBTQ+ populations that will enable the development of targeted and effective responses for people in crisis and experiencing poor mental health. 

“This new data on the mental health and wellbeing of transgender people is inconsistent with virtually all research, which shows trans and gender diverse people experiencing psychological distress and mental health conditions at higher rates than lesbian, gay and bisexual people.  

“The data on trans and gender diverse people needs rigorous analysis to avoid misinterpretation and misrepresentation, especially in the current environment of transphobic rhetoric that has significant negative health and wellbeing impacts. 

“There is so much more we need to know to develop targeted and effective responses to support people experiencing poor mental health. With the development of the 10 Year National LGBTIQA+ Health and Wellbeing Action Plan under way, this data can provide much needed critical insights to inform the Plan.” Ms Bath said.  

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ABOUT LGBTIQ+ Health Australia
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, (formerly the National LGBTI Health Alliance), is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people and other sexuality, gender and bodily diverse (LGBTIQ+) people and communities. Dropping the “+” from our name only occurs within digital formats that do not allow mathematical symbols, such as within our domain name, handles and hashtags.
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia, their diversity, histories and knowledge and their continuing connections to land and community. We pay our respects to all Australian Indigenous Peoples and their cultures, and to Elders of past and present.