A new report by the Rainbow Project exploring the needs of LGBT people in Northern Ireland has found that those living in a rural area are more likely to experience mental health problems than those living in an urban area, but are less likely to seek support.
The report, titled ‘Outstanding in your Field, Exploring the needs of LGBT people in rural Northern Ireland’, also revealed the LGBTs living in rural areas are more likely to experience depression as well as feeling compelled to move to urban areas.
Among the other findings of the report:
Self-harming behaviour continues to be most common amongst LGB women with 2 in 5 reporting having self-harmed. More a third of all the LGBT respondents reported having self- harmed.
8.4% of respondents have been refused access to goods, facilities or services because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in their local area.
2 in 5 LGBT people have experienced suicidal ideation at some point in their life with the majority reporting it being related to their sexual orientation/gender identity.
LGBT people living in a rural area are less likely to experience suicidal ideation but are more likely to report it being related to their sexual orientation/gender identity compared to those living in an urban area.
Rural LGBTs were also more likely to experience depression and less likely to be ‘out’ to their communities. Over half of the 480 respondents (58.5%) also reported they felt compelled to move to an urban area at some point, but hadn’t.
“This is the first specific study of its kind and the report provides us with a great opportunity to examine how DARD [Department of Agriculture], and other government departments, can address any issues of inequality and improve access to relevant services and support,” Minister for Agriculture Michelle O’Neill told Agriland.ie.
“I am fully committed to equality and my officials will continue to work closely with the Rainbow Project in taking forward key issues relevant to LGB&/T people especially when it comes to improving their quality of life in rural areas.”