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Monday, 11 April 2011

Supporting the NUS Scotland LGBT mental health campaign is important - DO IT!

It's funny how Twitter starts a relationship.  I sent congratulations to Nathan Sparling who announced on Twitter he had won the election to be the new NUS Scotland LGBT Officer.

Nathan soon got into his new role and then got in touch asking if Tavish Scott and the Scottish Liberal Democrats would support the new NUS Scotland campaign on mental health in the LGBT community?

Tavish Scott was very quick off the mark and more than happy to support the campaign and said;
"One in four people in Scotland will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Given that Stonewall has reported that approximately half a million of Scotland’s population are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, it’s clear that these are issues that affect a great many people. And with research suggesting that LGBT people may experience higher levels of mental health problems, we recognise that more should be done to improve the experiences of the LGBT community when accessing mental health services.

"We therefore warmly welcome the NUS campaign and agree that mental health services in university and college campuses, health services and communities in general should be free of discrimination and fully accessible to all."
Did you know that someone from the LGBT community is four times more likely to commit suicide then other people?
With homosexuality only being declassified as a mental illness by the World Health Organisation just 19 years ago, in 1992, it is not surprising that accessing mental health services is often daunting or simply not an option for LGBT people.
This was a fact I did not know and was I actually shocked by it.

So the Scottish Liberal Democrats today announced their full backing for NUS Scotland’s innovative new LGBT campaign ‘There’s More to My Education’, which is pushing for better representation of LGBT people in the Scottish Government’s anti-stigma and mental health campaign, and wants university, college and community mental health services to be more friendly and accessible for LGBT students.

I recall when I came out when I was 15, it was a massive issue for me, it was one of the biggest decisions of my life and yet was one of the loneliest.

The gay scene is fun when you have tons of friends around you, I worked in the Admiral Duncan pub, one of the gay nightclubs in Nottingham so I had a huge circle of friends, but strangely when you really needed friends they weren't always there for you.

I've been lucky over the years with some great friends helping me through some tough times in my life, including the period when I was 18 through to 21 when after I came out to my Mum, we never spoke once during that period.

The time my closest friend died - he had the very same heart disease I do - that was a tough time.

I'm not going to list everything but needless to say, like many others in the world, I've had tough times to get through, they are not all to do with my sexuality but trust me when I say, the gay scene is great when you are young, but it can be bloody tough too.

That is why this campaign by NUS Scotland is so important.

Please encourage your candidates, of whatever party to sign the petition.

Nathan, good luck in the new job!

1 comment:

GHmltn said...

Good to see the NUS supporting us and working with us on something positive! :)

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