Stand Up Week against homophobic and transphobic bullying gets underway

Research has shown that more than a third of LGBT teenagers have attempted to take their own lives

Stand Up Week against homophobic and transphobic bullying gets underway

Image: RollingNews.ie

Stand Up Week - the annual anti LGBT bullying campaign - is getting underway in secondary schools across the country today.

The week is organised by the BeLonG To group to raise awareness of the dangers of homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Figures have shown that two-out-of-three LGBT young people have witnessed bullying of other LGBT students - while more than half have personally experienced bullying.

According to a report released by BeLonG To and GLEN earlier this year, 56% of 14-18 year old LGBT respondents had self-harmed.

70% of the respondents had seriously contemplated suicide, while 32% had attempted suicide.

Moninne Griffith, Executive Director of BeLonG To, explained: "Despite the great progress we have made in Ireland with equality legislation and marriage equality, most LGBT students are still facing very tough situations in their schools - rejection, bullying and pressures to hide who they really are.

"This has devastating impacts on their levels of self-harm and suicide. BeLonG To is calling teachers and parents to mind the mental health of LGBT students."

Education Minister Richard Bruton - who launched this year's campaign last week - said: "I encourage every post primary school in Ireland to get involved in this excellent initiative to empower students to support their LGBT+ friends.

"My Department has provided funding for this initiative since 2013 as part of the implementation of the Action Plan on Bullying," he added.