BeLonG To Announces New Mental Health Youth Campaign Supported by Bank of Ireland
Thursday, June 28th, 2018
The campaign will aim to promote a more positive ‘help-seeking’ attitude across the LGBTI+ youth community for those struggling with mental health problems.
BeLonG To Youth Services the national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) youth, has announced a new mental health campaign supported by Bank of Ireland. The campaign will encourage LGBTI+ youth struggling with mental health problems to seek assistance. The framework around this new campaign was designed in consultation with LGBTI+ young people, mental health professionals and youth workers all around the country. Its mission is to promote a more positive ‘help-seeking’ attitude when it comes to mental health.
Ireland changed what it means to grow up LGBTI+ in 2015 with a resounding Yes in the marriage equality referendum and with the passage of the Gender Recognition Act. However, recent Irish research confirms that anti- LGBTI+ stigma is still very prevalent and results in significantly higher mental health challenges for young LGBTI+ people.
The LGBTIreland Report published in 2016 found that:
- 56% of LGBTI+ who were aged 14 to 18 years had self-harmed, 70% had suicidal thoughts and one in three had attempted suicide.
- The report showed a link between a young person having experienced LGBTI+ based bullying, social exclusion and fear or rejection with serious mental health difficulties.
- 67% (of those in school now or in past 5 years) witnessed anti-LGBTI+ bullying. And, 50% of LGBTI+ students experienced
In summary, compared to the wider population of young people in Ireland, LGBTI+ young people had:
- Two times the level of self-harm.
- Three times the level of attempted suicide.
- Four times the level of severe or extremely severe stress, anxiety and depression.
Bank of Ireland, a proud supporter of the LGBTI+ community, will back the campaign with a €10,000 contribution. The funding from Bank of Ireland will support the nationwide rollout of the initiative, ensuring that young people know about available services when they need them most.
Speaking about the new campaign and partnership, Moninne Griffith, Executive Director, BeLonG To Youth Services said, “We are now living in a more inclusive Ireland, but our experience and research shows that LGBTI+ young people still need support and guidance when it comes to mental health. With this campaign we’re hoping to highlight that seeking help is always worth it. We want to show that sharing problems can be a liberating and life-saving experience. We also want to help young people to understand that getting help isn’t something to be feared. The ultimate focus is for LGBTI+ youth to actively seek out solutions to mental health problems, and to understand that it is their right to do so. We’re extremely proud to partner with Bank of Ireland on this project and with their generous support we’ll be able to spread this important message far and wide.”
Andrew Keating, Chief Financial Officer and Inclusion & Diversity Executive Sponsor at Bank of Ireland added, “Bank of Ireland has a strong presence in communities across Ireland, for us, it’s important that we reflect the diversity of all of our customers and colleagues. We’re delighted to support BeLonG To and the positive impact they make across the LGBTI+ community.”
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