Education Needed on Anti-Discrimination - Beyondblue
9 January 2014 at 9:42 am
A mental health Not for Profit has called for more anti-discrimination campaigns after a young gay man was attacked in Perth last week.
beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell said the incident, where a man was punched and called homophobic names outside The Court Hotel on New Year’s Day, reinforced the need for education and anti-discrimination campaigns.
Carnell said too many people still failed to realise that this sort of discrimination and violence can badly damage the mental wellbeing of people who were just being themselves, sometimes even leading to suicide.
“Attacks like this, and indeed any form of discrimination, can do untold harm to people’s mental health,” she said.
“But some people still do not understand the damage their behaviour can have, or that their behaviour can cost lives.
“Any form of discrimination is absolutely unacceptable. Discrimination can lead to stress, which in turn can lead to depression and anxiety.
“beyondblue research shows many LGBTI people regularly endure verbal abuse and threats, and that physical attacks still occur.
“This discrimination is the reason LGBTI people experience higher rates of depression and anxiety than the rest of the community and is the reason that they are far more likely to try and take their own lives.
“This was a disgraceful and cowardly assault on a young man simply trying to enjoy a night out and shows that there are still attitudes that need to be changed.”
beyondblue said Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed almost a third of gay or bisexual people have experienced an anxiety disorder in the past 12 months, more than double the rate of heterosexual Australians.
Similarly, nearly one in five gay or bisexual Australians has experienced depression in the past 12 months, more than triple the rate for heterosexual Australians.
beyondblue said other research showed gay and bisexual people were up to 14 times more likely to try and take their lives than heterosexual people while a beyondblue report, funded with other organisations including Movember and released in 2012, details the extent of discrimination against LGBTI Australians.
Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria’s report Private Lives 2 showed that, in 2011, more than a quarter had endured verbal abuse, nearly one in 10 had been the victim of threatened or actual physical violence without a weapon and about one in 50 had been attacked with a weapon such as a knife or stones.