76% Of LGBTI+ Youth Name Bullying At School As A Source of Major Anxiety

76% Of LGBTI+ Youth Name Bullying At School As A Source of Major Anxiety

 Second-level schools take a stand against LGBTI+ related bullying during Stand Up Awareness Week

Monday, November 12th, 2018

Research from BeLonG To Youth Services highlights the harrowing effects of homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying on the mental health of LGBTI+ youth. A huge 76% of LGBTI+ young people surveyed disclosed that anti-LGBTI+ bullying is a major source of anxiety in their lives. The research also found that for 77% of LGBTI+ youth, coming out and being LGBTI+ at school is another leading source of fear, worry, and anxiety.

The findings come from research conducted ahead of Stand Up Awareness Week, Ireland’s largest anti LGBTI+ bullying campaign in Ireland, with 43% of second-level schools participating in last year’s event.

For nine years now, Stand Up Awareness Week has a been a time for second level schools to take a stand against the anti-LGBTI+ bullying, harassment, and name-calling that silences many students and can result in serious mental health challenges. As part of Stand Up Awareness Week, running from November 12th-16th, 2018, every second-level school in Ireland has been given a free resource pack with information, activities and advice to create an LGBTI+ friendly school environment.

 

Minster for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD said: Our school years help to shape who we are and who we can become.  We all have a responsibility to create a safe school environment, free from all discrimination and bullying including identity-based bullying relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.  As Minister, I urge all second-level schools to participate in Stand Up Awareness Week and create a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTI+ young people where they are supported to learn and prosper.”

 

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, TD said:

I’m proud to launch Stand Up Awareness Week in support of LGBTI+ students across Ireland. This campaign grows from strength-to-strength each year and benefits students, teachers, and the entire community. I encourage every second-level school in Ireland to get involved in this excellent initiative to empower students to support their LGBTI+ friends and create safe, inclusive schools.”

 

Moninne Griffith, Executive Director of BeLonG To Youth Services said:

“Over the past nine years, we have worked with thousands of students and teachers to combat LGBTI+ related bullying. While many schools have taken proactive steps, there is still a long way to go to create safe, supportive, and inclusive educational environments for LGBTI+ youth.

We know that LGBTI+ young people are at a much higher risk of suicide and self-harm for many reasons including stigma, fear of rejection, exclusion, and bullying1. One young man recently told me how he knew he was gay from the age of eight. He came out 10 years later aged 18. He described the turmoil and anguish he experienced during that decade of silence when he was alone, isolated and badly bullied at school – comparing it to a witch hunt.

This is sadly just one story highlighting the anxiety and fear that 76% of LGBTI+ students experience because of bullying. This alarming statistic is a wakeup call for all of us who care about the wellbeing of young people including schools, local authorities, and the Government highlighting the need to priortise creating safe school environments for LGBTI+ youth.”

 

For further information on how to get involved with #Standup2018, visit www.belongto.org/standup

 

ENDS

 

To arrange an interview, please contact Sinead Keane, BeLonG To Youth Services: 087 768 0389, sinead@belongto.org

 

Notes to Editors:

  • Photographs available from Maxwell Photography:01 830 8072 office@maxwellphotography.ie

 

  • Stand Up Awareness Week runs from November 12th-16th, 2018. BeLonG To Youth Services has distributed Stand Up Awareness Week Resource Packs and Posters to all second-level schools in Ireland. To access these free resources including curricular based activity ideas, visit belongto.org

 

  • Join the conversation on Twitter: @BeLonG_To #Standup18

 

  • BeLonG To Youth Services is the national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) young people in Ireland. Since 2003, they have worked with LGBTI+ young people, between 14 and 23 years, to create a world where they are equal, safe, and valued in the diversity of their identities and experiences. They also advocate and campaign on behalf of young LGBTI+ people, run a specialised LGBTI+ youth service, and offer a range of free supports including LGBTI+ youth groups, sexual health courses and a free counselling service.

 

1 LGBTIreland Report  BeLonG To Youth Services, HSE, National Office of Suicide Prevention, Trinity College Dublin, GLEN. (2016). Dublin – Download