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Essay Nonfiction Social Sciences

Mental Health Staff Perceptions and Practice Regarding Self-Harm, Suicidality and Help-Seeking in LGBTQ Youth: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Survey in the UK

By Elizabeth Hughes, Victoria Rawlings, Elizabeth McDermott , 2018

Young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) experience higher levels of suicidality compared to heterosexual or cisgender peers, and face significant barriers accessing mental health services including prejudice from staff. In a cross-sectional survey, mental health staff who reported receiving LGBT awareness training were significantly more likely to report in relation to working with LGBT youth that they routinely discussed issues of sexuality and gender (χ2=8.782, df=2, p < 0.05); to feel that their organisation supported them to work with this group (χ2=14.401, df=2, p < 0.001); and report that they had access to adequate skills training that supported their work with suicidality and self-harm with this group (χ2=21.911, df=2, p <0.001). There is a need to enhance the mental health workforce in LGBTQ awareness, and these findings indicate that awareness training could impact positively on practice.

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