A report on mental health has revealed that a quarter of young gay or bisexual men in Northern Ireland have attempted suicide.

Nearly two-thirds considered killing themselves and 30% self harmed, according to the survey, which was carried out over three years by the Rainbow Project in Belfast.

The survey of 190 young gay or bisexual men revealed one third were diagnosed as having a mental illness at some time in their lives with almost as many having had a potential psychiatric disorder.

A quarter had attempted suicide and over two thirds thought about taking their own lives.

Four out of five who had thoughts of suicide indicated those were related to same sex attraction.

Among the key factors which contributed to suicidal thoughts and self harm were negative experiences in school such as bullying.

The findings of ‘Out On Your Own’ were released at a conference in Belfast opened by the Chief of the Equality Commission, Bob Collins.

The conference heard calls on the British government to ensure gay and bisexual students are provided with full protection and education.   

The author of the report, Helen McNamee of the Rainbow Project, said it was imperative the recommendations were taken on board.

She said the mental health needs of young gay and bisexual men were addressed by everyone who works with young people.