An informative workshop and presentation on lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) and mental health in the workplace took place at Middlesex University on 17 May.
Organised by Dr Sarah Carr and Alfonso Pezzella from the Department of Mental Health, Social Work and Integrative Medicine, the event was part of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2016 (#IDAHOT2016).
In under a decade, 17 May has established itself as the single most important date for LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex) communities to mobilise on a worldwide scale.
IDAHOT was founded to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.
It was created to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally.
The meeting was also planned as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental health and well being received particular attention for IDAHOT 2016, amidst the global celebrations.
Opening with a talk entitled ‘From mad and bad towards glad perspectives on lesbian, gay and bisexual mental health and the workplace’, Dr Sarah Carr spoke about the history of LGBT people and mental health services and explored why LGBT people are at higher risk of experiencing mental health problems.
Alfonso Pezzella discussed being lesbian, gay or bisexual in the workplace and its impact on mental health and physical health.
He also highlighted the ways employers could contribute to create a more positive and friendly environment to embrace all forms of diversity, including LGBT.
"It is important that workplaces are supportive and mindful of mental health, particularly for LGB&T employees,” said Dr Carr.
Dr Carmel Clancy, Head of Department for Department of Mental Health, Social Work and Integrative Medicine, added: “A big thank you to the academics, Sarah Carr and Alfonso Pezzella for delivering such a successful event.
"Many thanks also go to Laura Hodgson, Co-chair of the Pride Network at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, for initiating the event and for her kind hospitality.”