Half of all LGBT+ students are bullied at school – BeLonG To

Image: nobullying.com

HSBC Ireland (Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) has been supporting BeLonG To’s Stand Up! anti-bullying campaign to make Irish schools safer for all young people through a yearlong partnership with BeLonG To, the national organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) young people.

Bullying is a major factor in the higher risks to the mental health, wellbeing, and potential of LGBT+ students. Students are still reporting high levels of LGBT+ bullying in Irish post primary schools.

67% of LGBT+ young people witnessed bullying of other LGBT+ students and over 50% of them personally experienced bullying. One in four missed or skipped school to avoid negative treatment due to being LGBT+.

Moninne Griffith, Executive Director of BeLonG To commented:

“Despite the great progress, we have made in Ireland with equality legislation and marriage equality, many LGBT+ students are still facing very tough situations in their schools including rejection, bullying and pressures to hide who they really are.  This has devastating impacts on their futures, with increased early school leaving and increased risk of self-harm and suicide. The support of HSBC Ireland has allowed us to extend the reach of our anti-bullying work ensuring all young people in participating schools are safe and supported”.

According to research, 1 in 3 young LGBT+ people aged 14 – 18 have attempted to take their own lives because of bullying, rejection and pressures to hide who they really are. The findings make a strong case that young people are not yet experiencing equality despite the historic success of marriage equality in Ireland.

Alan Duffy, CEO of HSBC Ireland added:

“We are delighted to be able to support such an important campaign. Diversity and inclusion are part of who we are at HSBC and we feel it is vital to the future of our business and also to the wellbeing of our people. Raising awareness at secondary school level of the issues of bullying will help create a more inclusive environment for students and go a long way towards forming the next generation of leaders with an acute awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion which can only be a positive thing for future generations.”

BeLonG To is the national organisation for LGBT+ Youth in Ireland www.belongto.or

The above statistics are from The LGBTIreland Report: a national study on the mental health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people in Ireland carried out by Trinity College Dublin (2016).

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