Caring about mental health inequalities, by Professor Elizabeth Peel

Previous research indicates that, compared to heterosexual people, LGBT young people are more likely to attempt suicide, lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to have drinking problems, and gay and bisexual men are more likely to have body image disorders. Therefore the Risk and Resilience Explored (RaRE) study, funded by the Big Lottery (2010-2015), explores these mental health inequalities in LGBT people in England. The project is led by PACE Health, a London-based charity, in partnership with Prof Elizabeth Peel (University of Worcester), Prof Ian Rivers (Brunel University) and Allan Tyler (London South Bank University) and aims to address the following questions:

  • Which LGBT people have these problems?
  • What are the risk/predictive factors?
  • What are the resilience/protective factors?
  • How do these vary between the study groups and between the study groups and their heterosexual counterparts?

The team has just launched a large-scale Health and Wellbeing survey that is open to anyone over 18 living in England. People of all sexualities whether or not they have experienced mental health problems can participate in the research via This offers an opportunity for those who care about understanding health inequalities to share their experiences and perspectives. For more information about the RaRE study contact the project coordinator Nuno Nodin: .


Elizabeth Peel

Professor of Psychology & Social Change

Institute of Health and Society

The University of Worcester

Henwick Grove, Worcester, WR2 1AG



3 thoughts on “Caring about mental health inequalities, by Professor Elizabeth Peel

  1. This looks like a great project Liz. I gave a presentation in the summer at a workshop in Oxfordshire about people who end their lives. We were talking there about older gay men. You know, the high rates of older men who end their lives, many of whom are single and childless, tied in with higher rates of depression among older gay men compared with older lesbians, and compared with the general population. I know there is an lot of interest in young people who end their lives, but I think there is also a need to look at the other end of the age spectrum, especially in terms of loneliness, isolation, disenfranchised grief, etc. Will your project be study individuals across the age spectrum?

  2. For me this kind of project raises some further ‘framing’ issues. Very often ‘care’, however understood, is conceived in strongly gendered terms or in terms of funding. There are good reasons for these foci, but what Liz Peel’s group is indicating is that we have tended to conceive care in rather sanitized ways and in particular at a distance from sexuality/sexualities. The work of this group reminds us that we must begin to reframe ‘care’ in relation to sexuality/sexualities, in relation to desire, pleasure as well as coercive aspects. I have been writing about this occasionally but also have begun to wonder whether this means researchers in the general field should begin to look again at Audre Lorde and Anna Jonasdottir on the relations of sexuality/love/the erotic. Though aspects of their attention to ‘love power’–ie in Jonasdottir’s case the (marxian) concern with ‘extraction’/expropriation arising in gendered assymetries around giving and receiving love/care– seem to me to require further critical analysis, all the same there is something here that relates to the significance of sexuality/ies in care.
    Best wishes
    Chris Beasley from the Fay Gale Centre, University of Adelaide, South Australia

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