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  1. ITV Report

LGBT teachers suffering in rural areas

LGBT teachers working in rural areas are far more likely to suffer mental health problems than those based in urban schools according to new research by Anglia Ruskin University.

More than half in village schools have accessed help for depression and anxiety linked to their sexual identity compared to a tenth in cities

LGBT teachers suffering in rural areas Credit: PA Wire

The survey, consisting of responses from more than 100 teachers, also revealed concerns about how headteachers support their LGBT+ teachers, either through not challenging abuse, advising teachers against revealing their sexuality, or through not promoting LGBT+ teachers to positions of leadership.

"It is clear that teachers identifying as LGBT+ in rural areas find their professional lives much tougher than those based in cities. The number who have been absent from work or sought help for anxiety or depression is extremely worrying. What causes these stark differences is unclear but I would urge policy makers to take heed of this research and take action to protect teachers in village schools where perhaps attitudes to LGBT+ people are more conservative, and where they may lack adequate support through services and peer networks."

– Dr Catherine Lee, Anglia Ruskin University