A new report has revealed that 1 in 3 LGBT 14-18 year olds in Ireland have attempted suicide in their lives.
According to the report, this is down to “bullying, rejection and pressures to hide who they really are”, themes that are sadly familiar to many young people. The report also found that LGBT people included in this study had 2 times the level of self-harm, 3 times the level of attempted suicide and 4 times the level of severe/extremely severe stress, anxiety and depression.
One of the respondents said: “I was having nervous thoughts about whether I was going to come out to my parents or not. And the thought of it got too much and I decided to cut myself to get some sort of release from those thoughts. I still haven’t come out to them.”
Also, the study revealed that 67% of LGBTIyoung people witnessed bullying of other LGBT students and over 50% of them had personally experienced bullying themselves. One in four missed or skipped school to the bullying they received from being LGBT.
This study was commissioned by GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) and BeLonG To Youth Services, funded by the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP), and conducted by a research team led by Prof. Agnes Higgins from the School of Nursing & Midwifery.
They also found that LGBT people are becoming aware of their identity at a younger age in comparison to previous generations, and the time gap between a person discovering their identity and sharing that with people in their life is decreasing.
- 12 years: most common age people discovered their LGBTI identity
- 16 years: most common age people told the very first person they are LGBTI
- 1 in 4: people who had come out had not told their mother or father they are LGBTI
- The gap between knowing and telling decreased with age: 36-45 year olds = 9 year gap, 26-35 year olds = 6 year gap, 19-25 year olds = 4 year gap and 14-18 year olds = 1- 2 year gap. While the gap is lowest for LGBTI teens, 1-2 years is a significant length of time for teens to be concealing their LGBTI identity and is occurring at a critical time of physical, emotional, social and vocational development.
- 3% had not come out to anybody and these were more likely to be younger people, and bisexual and intersex people.
Moninne Griffith, Executive Director at BeLonG To, had this to say: “Despite the great progress we have made in Ireland with equality legislation and marriage equality, most LGBT students are still facing very tough situations in their schools – rejection, bullying and pressures to hide who they really are. This has devastating impacts on their levels of self-harm and suicide.”
Check the report out here.