YOUNG gay and bisexual men stand a greater risk for mental health issues than straight men.

The results of a new study revealed mental health issues varied greatly among men who have sex with men (MSM), but high levels of income and living with a male partner decreased the likelihood of men suffering from depression or anxiety.

 Conducted in the United Kingdom and released in the Journal of Public Health, the survey was one of only a few that focused on the mental health of MSM.

“Typically national and government surveys – even if they are quite large – only have a few gay and bisexual men in them,” lead author Ford Hickson told Reuters Health.

“They’re good at comparing gay and bisexual men to other men, but there are too few to do comparisons within the group.”

Findings revealed about 21 per cent of participants were depressed, 17 per cent had anxiety, about seven per cent had harmed themselves in the past year and three per cent had attempted suicide.

Participants under the age of 26 were at greater risk for poor mental health: about 29 per cent were depressed, 24 per cent reported anxiety, about 14 had per cent harmed themselves in the past year and about 6 percent had tried to kill themselves.

Men who were a part of an ethnic minority, had low levels of education or were also attracted to women also faced greater risk of poor mental health.

If you are experiencing difficulties and would like to speak to someone, contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

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