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97% of LGBTI+ youth are struggling with anxiety, stress or depression

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ALMOST ALL MEMBERS (97%) of the young LGBTI + community struggle with anxiety, stress or depression, according to a new study.

A national survey by BeLonG To Youth Services shows the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on LGBTI + youth.

Six out of ten adolescents surveyed struggle with suicidal thoughts (up to around 75% in trans adolescents) and half struggle with self-harm, according to the survey.

Previous research has shown that LGBTI + adolescents are two times more likely to experience self-harm, three times more likely to have thoughts of suicide, and four times more likely to experience anxiety and depression than non-LGBTI + peers.

More than 2,200 people took part in this year’s survey, the largest number of participants in a BeLonG To survey of this type to date.

Research shows that the pandemic has exacerbated the mental health problems of young people, as well as the former housing conditions of many of them.

Key takeaways from LGBTI + Life in Lockdown: One Year Later include the following:

  • 63% of young LGBTI + people struggle with suicidal ideation (up from 55% in 2020)
  • 50% struggle with self-harm (previously 45%)
  • 83% feel acute loneliness during the pandemic (previously 60%)
  • 58% described their mental health as “bad” or “very bad” (from 48%)
  • 56% of respondents in 2021 said they are not fully accepted in their home environment

The study also found that 6% of the young people who responded had experienced some form of homelessness. Of the 119 LGBTI + youths who were homeless in the past year:

  • 34% had to stay with friends after being forced to leave their home or after experiencing domestic violence
  • 32% were forced to stay with a family they would not normally live with
  • 14% were forced to stay in temporary accommodation
  • 8% had to stay in emergency shelters and / or a family center
  • 13% had to sleep outside

The 37-question survey was conducted online from April 29th to May 10th.

3,194 young people started the survey. A number of respondents fell outside the inclusion criteria and 16 responses, including homophobic and transphobic rhetoric, were removed. The final sample included 2,279 LGBTI + adolescents between the ages of 14 and 24.

Source: BeLonG To Youth Services

Screenshot 2021-06-15 09.26.34

Source: BeLonG To Youth Services

People who took part in the survey reported their thoughts anonymously in the past year:

I can’t see friends, I’m estranged from my family so it puzzled me to be alone all the time.

“For the first time in five years I have thoughts of harming myself almost every day.”

I’ve spent the entire year of this pandemic at least somewhat suicidal, to the point where I’ve sometimes been very active suicide planning. This eventually led to my trying to end my life.

“I had to stay in a deeply homophobic household around the clock. Fortunately I’m not out yet, but it still hurts. “

I found it very difficult to be with my family. I think it made me feel more internalized about their homophobia. I used to be more likely to accept my sexuality.

“I don’t know enough about protection and when to be examined as a lesbian. We only dealt with the subject from a heterosexual point of view when I was in school. “

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Safety nets gone

Commenting on the results, BeLonG To CEO Moninne Griffith said the past 12 months “have been extremely difficult for LGBTI + youth”.

“The level of self-harm and suicidal ideation is increasing as young people with LGBTI + experience unique psychological challenges.

“Many formal and informal safety nets, supports and services were unavailable due to lockdowns and increasing social isolation.”

Regarding the fact that over half of respondents said they are not fully accepted in their home environment because of their sexuality, Griffith said, “Family rejection, feeling unacceptable, and denying identity can lead to loneliness, stress , Fear and more lead to complex psychological challenges. “

BeLonG To has made a number of recommendations, including the following:

  • Maintaining vital services provided through one-time government funding during Covid-19, including free counseling for young people struggling with identity-based trauma
  • Reopening sexual health clinics as recommended by public health, particularly clinics targeting the LGBTI + community, including a full reopening of the gay male health service
  • Amending the Mental Health Act 2001 to allow young people under the age of 18 to access mental health services without parental consent
  • Implement robust laws to combat hate speech and hate incidents offline and offline, including the 2021 Criminal Justice (Hate Crime) Bill and the 2021 Online Security Bill

Do you need help? Support is available:

  • Belong
  • Conscious – 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Samaritans – 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie
  • Pieta House – 1800 247 247 or email mary@pieta.ie (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland – 1800 833 634 (13 to 18 years old)
  • Children’s line – 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18)
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Men’s Health

Powerlifting Coach Mark Bell Shares His Best Bench Press Tips

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The barbell bench press can feel like an easy exercise, especially if you’ve been training for a long time. However, the movement involves more than just lying on a bench and pushing the weight off your chest, especially considering what your goals are in the weight room.

Bench press is a great all-time chest size exercise, but it’s also an important (ahem) benchmark strength move, one of three events in the world of powerlifting competitions (along with deadlifts and barbell squats). When you’re a powerlifter, you’re not just working your way to grow to lift as much weight as you can. If you can’t get your bank up and running, you will never compete.

So some trainers might teach you how to bench press with a focus on hypertrophy in order to build as much muscle as possible. For others, like legendary powerlifter and trainer Mark Bell, who boasts 578 pounds of raw bench press PR, the goal is to push weight. Bell recently shared a long YouTube tutorial about the exercise and really took the time to break down what he thought were the most important aspects of the bench press. He teaches neuroscientist and podcaster Andrew Huberman, Ph.D. made the move with the assistance of trainer Nsima Inyang – but if you want to learn more about this mindset, his tips will work for you too.

How Mark Bell teaches the bench press

For Bell, it all starts with hand placement on the pole. It’s not fixed in any particular point – it depends on what is comfortable for the person doing the exercise. “Just make sure you have an even grip,” he says. Just be sure to press the rod firmly. “When we are pushing a barbell, we want to push it with everything we have because we are trying to initiate from our fingers to our toes. We want everyone to be involved in the bench press. “

As you lie back on the bench, Bell emphasizes the importance of having your chest in an upright position to maintain a neutral spine. “When our back is in a neutral position and our head is in a neutral position – it’s not too far down, not too high – we can express most of the force through our extremities, in this case our arms.”

Men health

When it comes to moving the weight, Bell has a counter-intuitive tip: pull the bar out of the rack instead of pushing it. But there is a method to madness – pushing the weight outward puts your shoulders in a bad position once it is time to get your body into position for the actual press. Especially if you are working with a lot of weight, be prepared to get safely into press mode.

As you lower the weight on your chest, Bell recommends aiming for a point near your sternum that is comfortable to the touch. Tip: If you’re working with a larger belly, use this to shorten your range of motion to make lifting easier.

From here, Bell rewinds a bit to talk about positioning on the bench. He admits that there is controversy over arching the back – but he quickly makes it clear that dramatic postures, in which athletes with shoulders and buttocks as the only points of contact on the bench, are not the goal here. “We’re not trying to arch the lower back,” he says. “We’re aggressively arching our upper backs though, trying to take our shoulders and really screw them into the bank.” This concept is no different from other exercises like the deadlift and squat, where you emphasize “screwing” your feet into the ground to drive down to create strength.

To get this bow, pull yourself down on the bench with the bar. Can’t you find out Let a spotter grab you by the traps to get you into position. Just be careful not to move your body too much and slide down the bench. Then focus on activating your lower body by placing your feet on the floor. “I like it when my heels hit the ground,” says Bell. “Even if you enjoy being on tiptoe, you want to keep your heels all the way down to the floor for your entire range of motion.” That’s because you want to be in a position where your knee is lower than your hip.

Next, Bell says that the key to your arm positioning is to have your bones stacked with your wrist and fists above your elbows and your elbows close to your body. Keeping your arms closed can shorten your range of motion, which in turn makes lifting easier. You can also use your lats and triceps to support your chest from this position.

“Downstairs, if you get it right, you’ll almost feel like you can pull the weight in and be really strong and explosive when you push yourself back up,” he says. When you’re at this lower point, Bell recommends trying “bend the bar” – sometimes at MH we recommend trying to “break the bar” – by rotating your elbows from the outside. This will allow you to get better leverage for your elevator.

When Huberman takes over, Bell has a few more comments on the reach. Remember: how you feel is much more important than an arbitrary position. Be on the lookout for more tips and hacks on how to bench press even harder.


Brett Williams, fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM CPT certified trainer and former professional football player and tech reporter who divides his exercise time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running.

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Men’s Health

How This Man Lost 35 Pounds and Got Shredded in Just 5 Months

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Lawyer Suang Wijaya, 33, had been slowly gaining weight in recent years, but noted that his weight gain “accelerated” during the pandemic. “Most of it was diet,” he says. “Also, when I had a busy time, I would go out without exercising for a few weeks. I wasn’t feeling too comfortable because my office clothes were suffocating a bit!

In his heaviest form, Suang weighed almost 160 pounds – but it wasn’t until a crucial moment in the work that he realized how much he needed to change.

“My team at work had won an important criminal case,” he explains. “After nine years in prison and a potential death penalty, our client was found innocent and released from prison. Before he returned to his home country, we served him a steak. Our photo with the client was posted on the news was a happy occasion, I just noticed how bloated I looked! So I felt like I had to do something. “

Suang came to Ultimate Performance Singapore and started training with a personal trainer. He did three strength training sessions each week with his trainer and then another three workouts alone, consisting of a mixture of upper and lower body exercises, as instructed by his trainer. After losing 2.2 pounds (1 kg) in his first week, Suang felt motivated to keep pushing himself.

“I’ve learned how important it is to push myself harder with every training session,” he says. “I also learned to do the exercises correctly and safely.”

Just as important as the exercise was the changes Suang made to his diet. “Before Ultimate Performance, I didn’t know about calories, how many calories I had in a day, and how to track calories,” he says. “This trip taught me about calories and the importance of calorie tracking … I now have a better relationship with food and no longer worry about the frequent business lunches I have with my customers.”

Over the course of five months, Suang lost approximately 35 pounds. “My family, friends and colleagues noticed it straight away,” he recalls. “They were very curious about my exercise and diet program. Some of them hired personal trainers themselves!”

“I definitely felt a lot healthier,” he adds. “I have the feeling that I sleep better at night and also get sick less often. Through this trip I also know how important health and fitness are … The first step is always the hardest. After that it will be much more manageable. “


Philip Ellis is a UK freelance writer and journalist specializing in pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ + topics.

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Men’s Health

Lanarkshire band raises charity funds with new track tackling male suicide

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A Lanarkshire band celebrated the launch of their latest single with an incredible fundraiser for a mental health charity.

The new track from The Naked Feedback, titled Boys Can Cry, explores the suicide rate of men, a topic that is close to their hearts.

The Blantyre band has partnered with the charity Tiny Changes, founded in memory of the late Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison, who took his own life in 2018.

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Through the release, the musicians have raised more than £ 1000. And as part of their effort, two of the boys completed a sponsored run from Glasgow city center to Blantyre.

Singer and guitarist Dean Anderson and drummer Derek Whiteford made the 10-mile performance on the day of release as there were many donors to support the cause.

The idea came after the band got stranded after a night out in Glasgow a few years ago and returned almost on foot as the wait for a taxi was too long.

In the end, they thought against it, but decided to take on the challenge of celebrating their new song – and all for a good cause.

Dean Anderson and Derek Whiteford after the 10 mile run

Speaking of the track, The Naked Feedback hopes to raise awareness about men’s mental health and the alarming rate of suicides in recent years.

It also looks at the mental struggles people have faced over the past 18 months after being hit by the pandemic.

Dean told Lanarkshire Live, “Boys Can Cry is about the struggles that people with mental health problems bring about, but also about the social stigmata that keep the issues from being addressed or addressed.

“The track itself is very aggressive and intrusive, while the lyrical content is a bit softer and almost like a cry for help.

“That was on purpose. Even today it is a taboo for a man to express his feelings and to be written off as weak or not a real man.

“The aggressive music symbolizes this old way of thinking about masculinity, but the gentler message runs parallel.”

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It’s also a topic for Dean, who recently lost friends to suicide.

He added, “A lot of people I knew about the lockdown committed suicide. Also, I think everyone’s mental health is in poor health as we were all locked inside.

“The track is more of an overview of central / western Scotland’s mental health affected by lockdowns and the pandemic.

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“The line ‘Boys Can Cry, They Shouldn’t Die, Is One Man Enough When He’s Dead?’ sums up the message we’re trying to get across and the topic we’re trying to keep in the spotlight. “

The charity campaign raised a total of £ 1005 for Tiny Changes, raised through a Just Giving page, monetary donations and a generous contribution from HSBC.

The online fundraiser is still active and you can donate here.

And you can listen to Boys Can Cry on Spotify or visit the band’s website for more information.

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And did you know Lanarkshire Live has its own app? Download yours here for free.

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