93% of LGBTI+ young people are struggling with mental health during COVID-19
A further 42% do not feel accepted at home.
By Clodagh Meaney
A report published by BeLonGTo Youth Services has revealed that a staggering 93% of young LGBTI+ people are struggling with their mental health during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The LGBTI+ Lives in Lockdown survey was conducted in May to assess the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on LGBTI+ youth in the Republic of Ireland.
The report found that while LGBTI+ youth have always experienced significantly increased rates of depression, anxiety and suicide ideation, these mental health challenges have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the report, 55% of LGBTI+ young people are struggling with suicidal ideation with a further 45% struggling with self-harm.
48% of LGBTI+ young people surveyed regard their mental health as bad or very bad, with 60% experiencing loneliness.
42% of LGBTI+ young people said they were not fully accepted in their home environment.
"They know I am gay but we do not speak about it. They make comments without thinking and never make any effort to be accepting or ask me about my personal life," said one respondee.
With another facing bullying from their sibling: "My sister harasses me and calls me slurs to her friends. I just want quarantine to be done so I don’t have to hear her justify homophobia."
BeLonGTo have responded to the figures by committing to further online youth work and youth groups as well as creating LGBTI+ inclusive schools and services and supporting professionals in facilitating services for young people.
If you have been affected by anything in this article, please contact BeLonGTo for support.