ALMOST half of LGBT people in Scotland have experienced depression in the last year, according to new research.

Equality charity Stonewall Scotland found 49% of LGBT people have experienced depression – including more than seven in 10 trans people (72%).

The research, based on a YouGov polling of more than 1250 LGBT people in Scotland, found nearly a quarter (24%) have witnessed discrimination or negative remarks against LGBT people by healthcare staff, while one in six (16%) have deliberately harmed themselves in the last year.

More than half of trans people (52%) said they had thought of taking their own life in the last year, while two in five (37%) have avoided seeking healthcare for fear of discrimination.

Colin Macfarlane, director of the charity, said: “Sadly, this report highlights the impact that hostility and abuse have on mental health and wellbeing, with many lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in Scotland experiencing poor mental health this year.

“Many LGBT people – particularly those who are trans – continue to be ‘outed’ without their consent, treated with inappropriate curiosity and subjected to unequal treatment by healthcare staff.

“Consequently, LGBT people can be deterred from accessing NHS services, with many avoiding healthcare treatment for fear of discrimination.”

Stonewall Scotland is calling for all healthcare staff to receive training on those needs, as well as a zero-tolerance approach to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic discrimination.

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said: “These findings are concerning, which is precisely why we are working with LGBT equality organisations to eradicate discrimination and stigma, investing more than

£1 million to support the work of LGBT equality organisations across Scotland in 2018-19.”