90% of Irish LGBTI+ youth struggle with their mental health
Research commissioned as part of BeLonG To’s Better Out Than In campaign
Written by Rebekah Connolly
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BeLonG To has launched their Better Out Than In campaign in partnership with Bank of Ireland and Thinkhouse Youth Agency. The campaign strives to promote a healthier relationship with mental health and wellbeing amongst 14-23 year olds in Ireland who are LGBTI+. Better Out Than In encourages young LGBTI+ people to come out about their mental health and seek help if, and when, they need it.
Findings of the Better Out Than In report
As part of the Better Out Than In campaign BeLong To commissioned research that looked into the mental health challenges facing LGBTI+ youth in Ireland today.
Findings from the report showed that:
- Young members of the LGBTI+ community are reluctant to open up about their mental health challenges
- Three years on from the success of a ‘Yes’ vote for marriage equality, 90% of LGBTI+ young people believe their struggle with mental health is on-going
- Nearly half (49%) of LGBTI+ youth surveyed felt reluctant to open up about their mental health due to the perceived expectations that they should feel happy in a post-marriage-referendum Ireland
77% of respondents cited being out or coming out as LGBTI+ at school as the biggest source of anxiety for LGBTI+ youth in Ireland, with 76% naming bullying as a major cause of anxiety
Help is becoming more and more accessible through online resources, with 64% of respondents turning to the internet for information about mental health
Some 65% of LGBTI+ youth are most likely to confide in a close friend, showing that immediate peer groups are one of the most important support networks for the LGBTI+ community
The research also found that LGBTI+ youth fear talking about mental health challenges they experience following coming out as LGBTI+. Some 56% of respondents don’t want to worry their parents or friends about mental health issues, feeling pressure to appear content once they have come out as LGBTI+.
BeLonG To’s Better Out Than In Campaign
In response to the findings of the Better Out Than In survey, BeLonG To created an online hub which provides information on a range of face to face, online, phone and text supports and discover which one feels best for you. To visit the Better Out Than In hub click here.
Also as part of the “Better Out Than In” campaign BeLonG To has partnered with some Irish Youtubers James Mitchell, Jamie O’Herlihy and Jackson Miloh. These LGBTI+ YouTubers created pieces of content, sharing their stories in the hope that they can inspire other youths in the community to open up and speak about the challenges they are facing in their day-to-day lives.