“LGBT lives are being lost”

Lockdown has acted as an amplifier for many social problems. One sign of that is the increase in LGBT+ people struggling with suicidal thoughts.

BBC News:

In total, eight charities told BBC News they had seen an increase in LGBT people accessing their support for suicide prevention.

The LGBT Foundation has received more calls about suicide “than ever before”.

Mermaids, which helps young trans people, has had to alert police following concerns about callers wanting to kill themselves

We know – and the government knows – that LGBT+ people suffer disproportionately from mental health issues due to multiple factors: discrimination, lack of family support, long waiting lists for essential treatment, social isolation and so on. Lockdown has stopped many essential support services, and it has of course also stopped the social contact and face-to-face support that some people find life-saving. Charities are trying to fill the gap, but many of them were desperately understaffed and underfunded long before lockdown.

Various branches of the UK government have spent the last month wrapping rainbows around their Twitter logos and proclaiming their support for the LGBT+ community. But it’s an empty gesture when again and again the government fails to keep its promises to LGBT+ people. It launched an LGBT Action Plan specifically to reduce suicides among LGBT people back in 2018 and has not implemented any of it. A year ago it announced a “rapid evidence review” of LGBT suicide. That hasn’t started. And two years ago this week it promised to ban conversion therapy, which has a horrific effect on LGBT+ people’s mental health. It hasn’t kept that promise either.