European Parliament Liaison Office to host discussion on mental health and LGBTQ+ youth

The event is available to attend in-person at Europe House, or virtually through GCN’s Facebook page.

Europe and Pride flags hanging at the European Parliament Liaison Office in Ireland.
Image: European Parliament Liaison Office in Ireland

To mark International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) 2022, Ireland’s European Parliament Liaison Office is hosting a discussion surrounding mental health and LGBTQ+ youth. The event takes place in Dublin on Friday, May 20, from 3PM – 4PM, and features prominent figures from the country’s queer scene.

Moderating the event is Aifric Ní Chríodáin, the recently appointed Executive Director of ShoutOut. For countless years, Aifric has worked with the organisation to deliver LGBTQ+ inclusion programmes in schools, making her no stranger to the issues and needs of young people in Ireland.

Joining Aifric are three panelists: Maria Walsh MEP, Moninne Griffith and Rory O’Neill AKA Panti Bliss. Maria Walsh is a Fine Gael member of the European Parliament for Midlands North-West, and has been an active advocate and campaigner for diversity and social inclusion for many years. She is also a co-chair of both the Mental Health Alliance and the Coalition of Mental Health and Wellbeing Intergroups in the Parliament.

As many will know, Moninne Griffith is the CEO of LGBTQ+ youth charity BeLonG To, and is a passionate activist with over 20 years of experience in the fields of advocacy, law and social justice. In her current role, she is dedicated to supporting and empowering LGBTQ+ young people, working towards achieving a society where queer youth are equal, safe and thriving.

Rory O’Neill, or Panti Bliss, is “Ireland’s foremost ‘gender discombobulist’ and ‘accidental activist’”. Needing no introduction, they have established themselves as a national treasure and a trailblazer in many Irish LGBTQ+ rights movements.

Together, the panel will discuss mental health issues among the LGBTQ+ young people of our nation. Research has shown that queer youth are more likely to experience challenges to their mental well-being in comparison to their cisgender heterosexual peers. According to the Parliament, this is largely due to the bullying and discrimination they may encounter at school, home and in their wider communities.

There are higher rates of suicide among LGBTQ+ youth, and it is reported that they consider suicide at nearly three times the rate of non-queer teenagers.

While the panel will explore these issues, they will also identify what can be done to help this vulnerable sector of our community.

The event, organised by the European Parliament Liaison Office, is available to attend either in Europe House on Lower Mount Street, or virtually through GCN’s Facebook page. To register for the free in-person session on Friday, 20 May, contact [email protected].

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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