The disturbing new report examines suicide in gay and bisexual men.
A new study has found that young gay and bisexual men are much more likely to attempt suicide or hurt themselves than those who are older.
The study showed that age had a big impact on mental health, as well as ethnicity — blacks were at a greater risk than whites, according to a London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine statement.
The study is the “first to examine the mental health differences within gay and bisexual men in the UK,” the statement reads. “Depression, anxiety, attempted suicide and self-harm were examined against a range of life factors. Age, ethnicity, income and education were all found to have a large impact on mental health.”
Researchers examined survey responses from 5,800 British gay and bisexual men who were at least 16 years of age. They came to an alarming discovery: men younger than 26 were twice as likely to be depressed or anxious, and a whopping six times more likely to attempt suicide or hurt themselves than men who were more than 45 years of age.
Additionally, black individuals were twice as likely to be depressed and five times more likely to have attempted suicide than whites.
“Our study showed that among gay and bisexual men, age and ethnicity had a significant impact on mental health, as did income and education,” Lead author Dr. Ford Hickson from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said in the statement. “This is possibly because men are better able to cope with homophobia the older they are, or if they are relatively privileged in other areas of their lives.”
Hickson added: “Minority groups are usually thought to be more homogenous than they actually are, when in fact there is great variation in health and life situations among this group. What’s clear is that health inequalities among gay and bisexual men mirror those in the broader society.”
The findings were published in the Journal of Public Health.