Authors: David Loncar, NSW
Event: 2009 TheMHS Conference
Subject: CARERS, FAMILIES,CONSUMERS, Evaluation
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The paper looks at the mental health in the gay and lesbian community, with a focus on the role carers play in the lives of those with a mental illness. Mental illness, in particular depression, anxiety, substance use disorder and suicide is more prominent in gay and lesbian communities than in the greater population. These high rates can be accounted for by gay-related stress, identity coherence, societal prejudice and homophobia. To cope and protect from mental illness they seek support from their relationships. Friends tend to be the primary source of support. Understanding and intervening in the gay and lesbian community involves understanding these family dynamics as encapsulated in the term ‘friends as family’.