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Free talk therapy and support for Hackney LGBT people struggling during coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 11:56 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:30 20 June 2020

Talk Changes offers free talk therapy to LGBT people and its practitioners fear the coronavirus lockdown will have a devastating effect on the community. Picture: Benson Kua/Wiki Commons

Talk Changes offers free talk therapy to LGBT people and its practitioners fear the coronavirus lockdown will have a devastating effect on the community. Picture: Benson Kua/Wiki Commons

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A Hackney Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner is concerned about the impact the coronavirus lockdown is having on LGBT people.

Hackney Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Ellis Kain works at Talk Changes near Hoxton Station.Hackney Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Ellis Kain works at Talk Changes near Hoxton Station.

Ellis Kain works at Talk Changes, which is a free and confidential NHS talk therapy supporting LGBT adults in City and Hackney, based in Nuttal Street near Hoxton Station.

He told the Gazette: “Now, more than ever, it is incredibly important that as LGBT people we are able to access the support we need to navigate this crisis.”

The practitioner says aspects of lockdown such as being indoors, disrupted routines and not being able to see family and friends are having a detrimental effect on the mental health of many people.

But research has shown LGBT communities suffer particularly high rates of poor mental health.

READ MORE: Mind in Hackney launches vital new mental health service for LGBTQ+ community: Rainbow Mind

In 2018 a report by Stonewall found that 52 per cent of LGBT individuals reported experiencing depression and 46pc of transgendered people had thought about taking their own life.

Ellis’s concerns are echoed in a recent report by the LGBT foundation showing already existing inequalities faced by LGBT communities may be worsened by measures such as social distancing and self-isolation.

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He also says many LGBT young people are having to go through lockdown in a hostile home environment where they are isolated from friends and at risk of domestic abuse.

Pay gaps, where LGBT individuals take home almost £7,000 less on average compared to their non-LGBT counter-parts, according to research in 2019 by networking site LinkedIn and UK Black Pride, may also widen as people and businesses deal with the financial impacts of the lockdown.

READ MORE: UK Black Pride 2019: Thousands visit Haggerston Park for biggest celebration of LGBTQ+ people of colour

The UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by a record 20.4pc in April, according to the Office For National Statistics, after the lockdown was introduced on March 23.

Ellis said: “At Talk Changes we know that these are worrying times for everyone, including the LGBT community. If you’re finding it hard to cope, we’re here for you.”

The team at Talk Changes includes special employment advisers as well mental health professionals offering advice and practical support for people who have been furloughed or made redundant.

To self-refer visit talkchanges.org.uk or email huh-tr.talkingtherapy@nhs.net

For more information on the LGBT Foundation report, visit their website www.lgbt.foundation/coronavirus/impact

For more information on the 2018 Stonewall report click here www.stonewall.org.uk/lgbt-britain-health


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