Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations in Ghana: An Empirical Study Approach

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.08.02.Art033

Authors : Nathaniel Acolatse


The purpose of this study was to empirically examine the mental health conditions in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations in Ghana. The study used data from 494 self-identified lesbian, gay male, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, recruited via non-probability sampling technique of snow-ball. Descriptive statistics of frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviations were used to describe the distribution of responses of the participants. The inferential statistics of one-way Analysis of Variance (one-way ANOVA), and Pearson Chi-Squared Test of Independence were used to explore differences based on the sexual orientation of the participants. Results from the study showed that engaging in same-gender sexual behavior, LGBTs, especially gays in Ghana were at higher risk of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide ideation and attempts as a result of the anti-LGBT environment in Ghana. The results of the study revealed that LGBT individuals in Ghana experience somatization, depression, and anxiety several days. It is recommended based on the findings of the study that the law against LGBT individuals in Ghana should be examined to give some level of freedom to LGBT individuals in Ghana. This will help to reduce the harassment, stigmatization and discrimination against LGBT individuals in Ghana. This could go a long way to help improve the mental health conditions of LGBT individuals in Ghana. The findings of the study provide evidence for areas of potential research, with implications for policy makers, mental health care professionals and the general public.


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