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Bisexual people in opposite sex relationships have poor mental health

Bisexual people in opposite sex relationships have poor mental health

Bisexual rep in the Pride in London parade

The world’s biggest study of bisexual people and mental health yielded surprising results.

Called Who I Am, the study questioned more than 2,600 bisexual people across Australia. Started by advocacy group Bi+ Australia the study wanted to uncover why bisexual people often had poor mental health outcomes.

Researchers La Trobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) helped Bi+ Australia run the study.

They found there were significant links between poor mental health and bisexual people in opposite sex relationships. Also, bisexual people who perceive their sexuality to be bad or wrong has poor mental health. It also found strong links between bisexuals thinking their partner’s support or understanding of their sexuality is low and poor mental health.

‘Attraction to more than one gender is very common among Australian adults and most health practitioners are unaware of the very poor mental health associated with this group,’ said ARCSHS’ research officer Julia Taylor said.

Taylor led the research and said it proves more support is needed to improve the mental health of bisexuals.

‘While there’s been an increased focus on lesbian and gay health in recent years, a substantial gap in knowledge specifically on bisexual health needs still remains,’ she said.

Cis and trans bisexual people

The study found one in four cisgender bisexuals had attempted suicide and almost 80% had considered self-harm or suicide. More than 60% of respondents had high or very high current psychological distress. The study also revealed 40% reporting having had depression in the past.

‘Through the Who I Am study, we wanted to address this gap and provide GPs and other health professionals with more information on bisexual mental health,’ Taylor said.

‘The findings have given a unique insight into what challenging life experiences bisexual people are going through and how this is impacting their mental health

Who I Am also found trans and gender diverse bisexuals had even worse mental health outcomes. Researchers said they planned to release those findings in the coming months.

If you or someone you know needs mental health support, please visit this global list of resources for contacts.