Students from lesbian, homosexual and bisexual (LGB) universities are at greater risk of self-harm and attempted suicide than heterosexual counterparts say researchers.
The study also shows that low self-esteem may explain the increased risk of self-harm to LGB students. Loss of self-esteem can lead LGB students who have been discriminated against or have struggled to accept or share sexuality with others.
The study was conducted by a team at Manchester University, Leeds Beckett University, Lancaster University and Edith Cowan University of Australia and published in Archives of Suicide Research.
Dr. Elizabeth McDermott of Lancaster University said: "Mental health of young people is a national concern, and this study confirms that lesbian, homosexual or bisexual young people have high rates of suicide and self-harm compared to heterosexual youth. their mental health problems or what kind of support would be effective. "
Of LGB students who completed an online questionnaire, 65% had non-suicidal self-harm during their lifetime, compared with 41% of heterosexual students.
Auto-injury typically includes behaviors such as haircutting, twisting, scratching, burning or over-life.
And 35% of LGB students have attempted suicide during their lifetime, compared with 14% of non-LGB students.
The study was completed by 707 23-year-old students from two English Universities, 119 of whom were identified as LGB.
The study does not tell us, however, whether to be at university increased the risk of self-harm to LGB people.
It is not possible to compare the student sample with prevalence rates for non-suicide attempts of self-harm and suicide throughout the population.
Dr. Taylor said: "Surprisingly, there is little data about psychological mechanisms that could explain the association between lesbian, homosexual or bisexual and self-harm to UK students at risk.
Interestingly, the symptoms of anxiety and depression did not seem important when self-esteem was taken into account.
He added: "Therefore, prevention and intervention efforts directed at these psychological mediators by universities can contribute to reducing the risks to this population.
"Universities are already doing a lot of good things in this area, such as counseling and psychological support for LGB people.
"Addressing discrimination and improving acceptance of LGB people through public policy and media campaigns can be helpful in reducing any impact on self-esteem."
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