Mental health & Wellbeing
Although the UK has seen many changes in legislation for LGBTQ people in the past 10 years, meaning we have equal rights in terms of the law (which obviously is a step in the right direction), some us still face prejudice and discrimination in our everyday lives which can impact on how we feel about ourselves and our behaviour.
Many people are affected by mental ill-health, in fact around 1 in 6 people suffer from common mental health problems such as anxiety/depression at any one time and that equates to around 70,000 in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly.
Males are less likely than females to acknowledge mental health problems and seek help.
Gay/bi-sexual men and men who have sex with men (MSM) are known to experience mental ill-health in higher numbers than heterosexuals.
People experiencing a mental health crisis often don’t receive timely and appropriate support from health services, unlike people who experience a physical health crisis.
People with severe mental illness die on average 15-20 years earlier than those without. They are also at increased risk of developing physical health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
If you wish to talk through anything mentioned above then speak to members in our PHIL team who will be able to talk you through the options available to you:
Simply call PHIL on 01209 313419, text them free on 07800006472 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other useful contacts:
Counselling Directory http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/domestic-violence.html
Isolation can play a big part in mental health, particularly if you're gay/bisexual and feel "different" from everyone around you.
Cornwall, by its very nature, is a very large geographical rural area and meeting other gay/bisexual/MSM in social situations can be tricky. Even in Brighton (where there is a large and active gay community) the recent "Count Me In Too" study conducted with LGBT people in the city showed that nearly one third of respondents had experienced isolation.
Violence and bullying also often go unreported in the gay community, hate crime (as it is known) can have a serious effect on the quality of life of its victims - one UK study found that 82% of all incidents are not reported
Domestic violence and abuse
Domestic violence and abuse can also play a part in mental health - most of us think of physical violence when we hear this term, but abuse of rights and power in relationships can result in poor mental health too.
Cornwall has "The Esteem Project - Empowering Men Affected by Domestic Abuse and Violence" - click here to be taken to their website
Talking to someone about how you feel can sometimes help make sense of what you're going through
Face to Face
Healthy Gay Cornwall has the "Face To Face" service - Its a free, confidential service, giving you a chance to talk to another gay man about whatever may be going on for you - it doesn't even have to be a big thing (often its better to look at things that you're not happy with early on before they become any bigger) - but if it something you've been "holding on to" in your head for a while, its ok to talk to us about that too.
Whilst "Face To Face" is NOT a counselling service - we do use aspects of counselling skills to help you decide what's right for you. If you do need specific counselling, we can put you in touch with people who could help (some of these services are free) - we can also refer you to other services in the county that work with mental health issues.
To book a Face To Face appointment call 01209 313419