To compare the prevalence of negative mental health outcomes among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and asexual (LGBTQ+) veterinary professionals and students with the prevalence reported in a previous study of veterinarians; compare LGBTQ+ veterinary professionals and students in regard to access to LGBTQ+ policies and resources, workplace or school climate, and identity disclosure; and examine whether these variables were associated with mental health (eg, psychological distress) or work- and school-related (eg, emotional labor) outcomes.
440 LGBTQ+ veterinary professionals and students in the United States and United Kingdom.
Between July and December 2016, a web-based questionnaire was distributed through email messages to members of LGBTQ+ veterinary groups and announcements at general veterinary and LGBTQ+-focused conferences and in newsletters.
Nonheterosexual cis men, nonheterosexual cis women, and transgender and nonbinary individuals all had higher lifetime prevalences of suicidal ideation and attempted suicide, compared with previously reported prevalences for male and female veterinarians in general. Professionals reported more welcoming climates than did students (eg, lower frequency of exposure to homophobic language and more supportive environments) and greater identity disclosure; however, students reported greater access to institutional resources and policies. Climate variables had a more robust relationship with negative outcomes than did access to LGBTQ+ policies or identity disclosure variables.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Comparatively high rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among LGBTQ+ professionals and students and the relationship between climate variables and negative mental health outcomes suggested enhanced efforts are needed to improve the climates in veterinary workplaces and colleges.