JOURNAL ARTICLE

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older people in Ireland: mental health issues

Edward McCann, Danika Sharek, Agnes Higgins, Fintan Sheerin, Michele Glacken
Aging & Mental Health 2013, 17 (3): 358-65
23323710
International policy initiatives have highlighted the need to include older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in the provision of appropriate health and social care. However, empirical studies in the area remain sparse. The aim of this study was to investigate the experiences and needs of LGBT people over the age of 55 years living in Ireland and this article reports on specific mental health issues. Mixed methods were used involving 144 surveys and 36 semi-structured in-depth interviews. The findings revealed that a significant number of the survey respondents had experienced a mental health problem at some point in their lives with interview participants providing further details of their concerns. It is recommended that policy makers address the mental health needs of older LGBT people in future strategic directives and develop standards of care that support the principles of equality, inclusion and respect for diversity.

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