Our study estimates rates of depressive symptoms and suicide risk according to sexual minority status, and examines the mediating effect of verbal victimisation in the association between sexual minority status and mental health outcomes. Analysis is based on data from the 2017 French Health Barometer, a general population phone survey, which recruited 25,198 adults aged 18-75 years. Data were weighted to be representative of the French adult population. Four mental health outcomes occurring in the preceding year or currently were examined in relation to sexual minority status using multivariate logistic regressions: (a) current depressive symptoms, (b) having experienced a major depressive episode, (c) suicidal ideation, and (d) suicide attempt. Further we conducted mediation analyses to evaluate the contribution that verbal victimisation experienced in the preceding year has in the association between sexual minority status and the listed outcomes. All analyses were also stratified by sex. Sexual minority adults were more likely to experience verbal victimisation in the last year compared to heterosexual individuals (22% vs 11.4%). They were also more likely to have experienced each of the four mental health outcomes, even after adjusting for potential confounders. In adjusted mediation analysis, verbal victimisation in the preceding year was found to significantly mediate the association between sexual orientation and mental health outcome with mediated proportions varying between 15 and 22%. Sexual minority individuals are more at risk of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation compared to heterosexuals, and this may be partially mediated by verbal victimisation.