Beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell has warned that News Limited columnist Miranda Devine’s recent attack on a school anti-homophobia initiative is potentially “qutie dangerous”.

Devine’s news story and opinion piece, which were published by the Daily Telegraph this week, criticised New South Wales Education Minister Adrian Piccoli for supporting the anti-homophobia pilot program Proud Schools, claiming “… there is no evidence that homophobic bullying is a big problem in NSW schools” .

“Miranda seems to be unaware or to have conveniently forgotten that there is in fact solid evidence that homophobic discrimination and bullying is rife  and is linked to depression and anxiety, particularly in young gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and intersex people,” Carnell said.

“Research shows that GLBTI people are at least two to three times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the broader population and are at greater risk of suicide and self-harm.

“The recent Private Lives 2 survey revealed almost half hide their sexuality or gender  identity in a range of situations fearing violence and discrimination – with young people aged 16 to 24 years more likely to do so than any other age group.”

Beyondblue recently launched its own anti-homophobia campaign, aimed particularly at school-aged boys who discriminate and bully young people who are different.

Carnell said discrimination and bullying are major contributing factors to depression and anxiety, and even suicide in young LGBTI people.

“Things need to change, Miranda. Your comments are not only unhelpful, but they’re potentially quite dangerous,” she said.

“It’s time to stop the discrimination, think about how comments you make could cause real distress and harm, and respect people who are different from you.”

INFO: Details on beyondblue’s new anti-homophobia campaign can be found here.

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