The fifth instalment of ‘Lunch Talk’ was held on Thursday, January 14 at the APC Office. Lunch Talk is facilitated by the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) in partnership with Advancing Partners and Communities (APC). This month's Lunch Talk focused on Mental Health Challenges affecting LGBT Guyanese.
The panel included: Lisa Punch, President of the Prevention of Teenage Suicide (POTS) Organisation and Miss Guyana World; Caitlin Vieira, Psychologist and Addiction Specialist,Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and Abdel Fudadin, Mental Health Researcher, CUSO International. Moderator: John Quelch, Project Coordinator, SASOD.
Persons who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Transgender (LGBT) are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than heterosexual persons, global research shows – this was pointed out by Cuso International’s Mental Health Researcher, Abdel Fudadin on Thursday last, at a forum on Mental Health Challenges facing LGBT Guyanese.
The discussion forum, facilitated by the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) in partnership with USAID’s Advancing Partners and Communities (APC) Project, sought to evaluate with various civil society organisations (CSOs) ways and means the Guyanese society can aid vulnerable communities such as LGBT persons from falling into mental despair and how support can be offered to them.
LGBT persons are often marginalised from society, discriminated against and shunned from accessing health, social and security services; this adding to some already possessing underlying issues such as social anxiety, battling with conservative and religious views and even stemming from impoverished neighbourhoods only weaken their mental health. Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and anxiety can develop along with post-traumatic stress which only makes the person more susceptible to substance abuse, risky behaviour, and suicide.