The project found that while some LGBT people have benefitted from the introduction of the anti-discriminatory legislation and the tolerant ‘urbanity’ of the city of Brighton & Hove, others - particularly trans and bisexual people - continue to experience multiple forms of exclusion. In addition, the needs of LGBT people in the areas of mental health, safety, housing, drugs and alcohol were also identified as not being met.
The project identified the importance of access to LGBT-sensitive, but not necessarily LGBT-exclusive, services for those who were in the early stage of identity construction. These people may be reluctant to identify as LGBT because of the negative constructions to which they were exposed.
The Suicide Distress (SD) project built on population-based research that has established that LGBT people are significantly more likely to think about and attempt suicide than the general population. SD emerged as a ‘knowledge exchange’ project seeking to support the work of a recently-appointed suicide prevention worker at MindOut - a mental health service run by and for LGBT people in Brighton.
The results of this research have led to an improvement in service planning and, by providing better opportunities for LGBT people to identify and communicate their diverse needs to service providers, local and national policy has been influenced and changed. Spectrum was formed as a result of this project, in part to hold mainstream services accountable to LGBT communities.