By Aisling McCabe
Seventy percent of LGBT teenagers between the ages of 14-18 have had suicidal thoughts in the past year, according to a new report released today.
The report reveals that intersex, transgender and bisexual people are more likely to end their lives than lesbian women and gay men. Twenty one perecent of LGBT people have attempted suicide in their life with one quarter of these attempts occurring in the past year.
The survey forms part of the LGBTIreland Report commissioned by gay rights and support groups GLEN and BelongTo, funded by the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention.
There were 2,264 LGBT people surveyed in this report, with data gathered from 53% of those over 26, and 47% aged between 18 and 25.
The results also disclosed that 67% of LBGTI people had witnessed bullying in their schools and half of those surveyed had experienced the anti-LGBT bullying personally. Another upsetting result was that one in three gay men have been punched, hit or attacked in public.
Contrary to these figures, the report also states that the majority of LGBT people over the age of 26 admitted to high levels of self-esteem, and said that they were proud of their LGBT identity.
The report is being launched by former president Dr. Mary McAleese, who told reporters that “this scholarly report is as essential and revealing as it is horrifying.”
“To be honest I’m not really (shocked) to hear these statistics because homophobia is still rampant throughout schools, and that because 14-18 is the main age that teenagers come out to their parents and this effects their mental health”, Chair of the DCU LGBT Society, Hayley Halpin, said.
“People think that since the Marriage Referendum passed that there’s no issues now and that there’s no LGBT problems anymore, but that’s not the case, and a lot more still needs to be done”, she continued.
The report indicates that bullying at school, fear of rejection and discrimination, harassment and violence as reasons for stress, anxiety and depression in LGBT people, and has shed a light on the impact that this is having on those affected.
“Horrifying” findings in report on LGBT teens suffering bullying, self-harm, suicide risk in Ireland: https://t.co/WEqTSVXWRK
— Una Mullally (@UnaMullally) March 22, 2016
@UnaMullally individual schools are doing great work but systematically attempts to tackle issues like this not effective or even existing
— Niall Breslin (@nbrez) March 22, 2016