LGBTQ helpline sees calls double as people trapped with abusive families

The LGBT Foundation has seen calls double as a result of the lockdown.

The LGBT Foundation has reported that over a five day period it received the highest amount of calls this year. It added that the calls were double the amount it was receiving in the same period from last year, and that they were expecting the number to increase again this week.

The charity said many LGBTQ people were seeking support due to being trapped with abusive families and forcing them back into the closet, while others were concerned about how coronavirus might affect pre-existing medical conditions.

Queer people calling the helpline were experiencing “severe anxiety and concern” over the pandemic.

Kayla Le Roux, a staff member for the LGBT Foundation, said: “We’ve had people ringing up because they’re concerned about the effect COVID-19 would have on existing health issues, people calling about being trapped with families or partners who are hostile to them, or just like everyone else scared about what the future holds.

“It’s great to be there for people providing that support and to be that lifeline for people, and I hope anyone out there who is feeling worried right now knows that the support is out there for them and we’re just a phone call away.”

Paul Martin, the chief executive of the LGBT Foundation, added: “We are seeing some young LGBT teenagers trapped in their homes with abusive parents and not even school to provide respite, trans people no longer being able to live as the gender they identify due to family pressures and people in same-sex relationships isolated with their abusive partner.

“We’ve also been spending time thinking about the most at risk members of our communities – people over 70, those with underlying health conditions, and those living in domestic abuse situations.”

He added that he wanted LGBTQ people to know they “weren’t alone” during this time, and urged those who needed help to contact the helpline.

Due to current guidelines, face-to-face services with the LGBT Foundation have been suspended until 14 April, although this date could still change.

Social distancing and staying inside has been advised by government and health officials to help fight the spread of the global pandemic, which has spread across the world and taken the lives of 28,000 people (as of writing).

There are over 600,000 confirmed cases worldwide, and so far, over 137,000 people have recovered.

It is also encouraged that we wash our hands frequently, avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth, and practice respiratory hygiene by covering our mouth and nose with our bent elbow or tissue when we cough or sneeze. 

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, it is vital that you seek medical care.

For more information, check out the World Health Organisation’s guidelines on the coronavirus pandemic here.

If you need help, you can call the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30 from 10am to 6pm through Monday to Friday, or you can reach them through email at helpine@lgbt.foundation.

Related: LGBTQ people are more vulnerable to coronavirus for three reasons

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