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One in three Irish young LGBT people have attempted suicide

Elena Cherubini May 5, 2017

Study suggests stress triggered by rejection by their peers may be to blame

One in three young Irish LGBT people have tried to kill themselves, research shows.

According to report, published last year, one in three young LGBT people aged 14-18 have attempted to take their own lives because of bullying, rejection and pressures to hide who they really are.

The research showed that the youngest age group considered, 14 to 18, was the one with the highest scores for depression and self-harming.

Across all age groups, 21.4% of LGBT people have attempted suicide. Among under-18s, it was 31.9%.

Over two thirds of the younger age group experienced suicidal thoughts in the past year – with intersex, transgender and bisexual being more likely to think about ending their life.

Findings indicated a clear link between bullying in school and mental health issues among the young LGBT group.

Young LGBT reported missing school after experiencing bullying.

Participants who experienced bullying, scored higher on depression, anxiety, stress and problematic alcohol use.

The research indicated that over 50% of LGBT students personally experienced bullying in school while 67% of them witnessed someone else being bullied.

Among the youngest students one in four reported missing school due to the negative treatment that came because of his sexual orientation.

BeLonG To, the Irish national organisation for LGBT+ young people, launched a campaign called “Stand Up!” to fight bullying and make Irish school safer.

Moninne Griffith, BeLonG executive director, said: “Many LGBT+ students are still facing very though situations in their schools including rejection, bullying and pressures to hide who they are.

“This had devastating impacts on their futures, with increased early school leaving and … risk of self-harm and suicide.”

She added that despite the progress achieved by the country in recognising marriage equality LGBT students still suffer from discrimination.

HSBC Ireland has been supporting the campaign “Stand Up” over the past year, in an effort to help create a safer environment for students.

Alan Duffy, CEO of HSBC Ireland said: “We are delighted to be able to support such an important campaign. Raising awareness at secondary school level of the issues of bullying will help create a more inclusive environment for students.”

Recently Ireland has become the first country to introduce a national LGBT youth strategy to tackle homophobia and discrimination affecting the youngest among the LGBT community in the country.

Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). ​Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.

More: bullying, bullying at school, Europe, Ireland, Ireland, LGBT suicide risk

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