new online service is launched this month to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender people experiencing mental health problems.
website and interactive Virtual Support Service has been developed by PACE,
London’s leading charity promoting the mental health and wellbeing of the LGBT
community to enable PACE to reach out to more people in distress.
shown that levels of suicide, deliberate self-harm and drug and alcohol abuse
amongst LGBT people are significantly higher than in their heterosexual
counterparts. Gay and bisexual men are five times as likely to have
self-harmed and lesbians and bisexual women are four times as likely to be at
risk of substance abuse as straight women.
health amongst LGBT people is linked to discrimination, bullying, homophobia, pressure
to conform and poor self-esteem.
Executive, Margaret Unwin said: “We see our new online platform as a key
service for the LGBT community.
Our own practice and research shows that LGBT people are isolated and may
feel afraid to seek professional help or access mental health care. Unfortunately mainstream services don’t
always understand their issues”.
Support Project Manager Rachel Booles said: “The Virtual Support Project will
provide an easily accessible, free and anonymous source of support for many vulnerable
LGBT individuals out there. This service expands our services beyond London to
give us a national reach. There
will be expert advice provided which service users can access and an assessment
tool so they can monitor their progress. Peer support will be offered through
message boards and chat, moderated by a team of highly trained volunteers”
taking part in the project said, “We want to establish that taking care of
individual wellbeing is an unselfish notion, and something we can all take part
in. Mental wellbeing is possible if we allow ourselves to use the tools
The new website launches in January 2013