A new report has shown that LGBTI people are less engaged with and less trusting of the wider community and our neighbours.

The survey by VicHealth found only 6 in 10 LGBTI participants think that the community can be trusted, compared to eight in 10 straight cis people, Gay Star News has reported.

A third of LGBTI people didn’t agree that people in their community were willing to help their neighbours.

LGBTI people in the survey rated their mental wellbeing as an average of 73.6, compared with 77.5 for other Victorians.

LGBTI people were also more likely to report risky levels of drinking.

The researchers said homophobia and discrimination are behind the poorer mental and social wellbeing of LGBTI people.

“Everyone deserves the same opportunity to experience good health and happiness. However, this new research shows LGBTI Victorians are experiencing poorer mental wellbeing than their heterosexual neighbours,” said VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter.

“An extensive body of previous research has shown that homophobia and discrimination have an extremely serious impact on mental wellbeing of LGBTI people, leading to feelings of isolation and disconnection from their community.”

Rechter said action is needed to help LGBTI people feel more welcome in the community, including ending discriminatory laws and attitudes.

“The potential health benefits of legalising same-sex marriage for LGBTI Australians present a clear rationale for amending the Marriage Act,” Rechter said.

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