UK

LGBT+ teens in Northern Ireland most likely in UK to have considered suicide

Lily Wakefield June 15, 2021
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Across the UK, LGBT+ youth are twice as likely as non-LGBT+ youth to have considered suicide. (Envato)

LGBT+ youth in Northern Ireland are the most likely to have considered taking their own lives, heartbreaking new research has shown.

The LGBT+ youth charity Just Like Us surveyed 2,934 secondary school students across the whole of the UK, 1,140 of whom were LGBT+.

According to the charity’s research, 82 per cent of queer young people aged between 11 and 18 in Northern Ireland have experienced suicidal thoughts and feelings, compared to 23 per cent of their non-LGBT+ counterparts.

The number of LGBT+ young people considering suicide in the rest of the UK is still unacceptably high, with 67 per cent in England having had thoughts of taking their own life, 73 per cent in Wales and 79 per cent in Scotland.

The research showed that across the UK, LGBT+ youth are twice as likely as non-LGBT+ youth to have considered suicide.

The Just Like Us findings are part of a larger report, to be published ahead of the charity’s School Diversity Week which runs from 21 to 25 June, 2021.

Dominic Arnall, chief executive of Just Like Us, said in a statement: “We very saddened to see so many LGBT+ youth have had suicidal thoughts and feelings – they need to hear from their schools, parents and carers that it’s OK to be themselves.”

“LGBT+ school pupils are disproportionately struggling with mental health and feeling unsafe in school and at home – they desperately need to hear the positive message that it’s OK to be themselves.

“We really hope even more primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in Northern Ireland and across the UK will join us this year in taking part in School Diversity Week – a great way for schools to demonstrate to their pupils that they are able to be themselves.”

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.

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