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LGBTQ students’ mental health is getting worse, research shows

A recently published study revealed that among US students, members of the LGBTQ community were increasingly being diagnosed with anxiety and depression
  • The study relied on data sampling 228,640 undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 24

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UPDATED: 17 Jun 2024, 7:17 am

While university students in the US have reported worsening mental health across the board, those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer (LGBTQ) have experienced the steepest decline, new research suggests.

During the 2011 to 2012 academic year, about a third of students included in the study’s extensive dataset reported feeling “so depressed it was hard to function,” according to ADDitude magazine. By the 2017 to 2018 academic year, ADDitude said that number overall had increased by 13 percent – but for LGBTQ students, it went up by 23 percent.

The researchers analysed data from the American College Health Association and National College Health Assessment II: 2016–2019, which included a sample of 228,640 undergraduate students aged between 18 and 24, from more than 400 campuses across the US. Their findings were published in the June edition of Journal of Affective Disorders.

[See more: Mental health issues are affecting younger children, data shows]

They also found that the number of LGBTQ students being clinically diagnosed with or treated for anxiety increased more than the average rate.

“These results indicate that it is imperative to better address the mental health challenges faced by non-binary and LGBQ+ students while avoiding actions that may lead to their alienation, isolation, and oppression,” the study’s authors said.

They attributed students in general’s mental health struggles to academic stress and burnout, poor social support, poor sleep, less in-person social interaction, and more isolation.

UPDATED: 17 Jun 2024, 7:17 am

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