'Support can be found in the toughest of times': supports for LGBT+ community on World Suicide Prevention Day

On World Suicide Prevention Day we highlight the myriad of support services available to the LGBT+ community in Ireland.

World Suicide Prevention Day man sits in a corner light is blue with a rainbow shard of light shining across his face

Suicidal thoughts can occur when someone has feelings of hopelessness or despair. There are ways to overcome thoughts about suicide, knowing how to identify these thoughts and finding ways to cope can ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed and can look for support.

Research shows that strain on mental health is something that can be more pronounced for the LGBT+ community.

NOSP (the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention) released a leaflet last year, Looking after your mental health saying: “The stress sometimes associated with being LGBTI+, as well as everyday stress, can make you feel alone, angry, tired or withdrawn. These feelings are normal and usually pass. However, if they become overwhelming or don’t go away, they could be signs of a mental health problem”.

Suffering from mental health problems can be an incredibly disorientating time, creating uncertainty in where to go for help. The leaflet aids in the process by being clear and concise. These are some of the signs of mental health problems highlighted:

  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Excessive and undue worry
  • Significant mood changes
  • Low self-esteem
  • Withdrawal from friends and family.

For those struggling with self-harm and suicide, the leaflet gives the following advice: “You are not alone, and there are people who can help you to work through your problems, no matter how difficult they appear to you. By speaking to someone, whether friends, family, or a professional, support can be found in the toughest of times.”

BeLonG To, LGBT Ireland, TENI, and the Samaritans are examples of the support networks listed in the leaflet.

“Asking for help is not a weakness but a sign of personal strength. Everyone needs help from time to time, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for it”, the leaflet advises.

You can read the leaflet in full here.

If you were affected by any of the issues highlighted in this article you can reach out to the following:

Spun Out

Free-text SPUNOUT to 50808 to chat anonymously with a trained volunteer.

LGBT Helpline

T: 1890 929 539 | W: www.lgbt.ie

TENI Helpline (Transgender Support)

T: 085 147 7166 | W: www.teni.ie

Gay Switchboard

T: 01-872 1055 | W: www.gayswitchbaord.ie

Pieta House (Self-Harm/Suicide Support)

T: 1800 247 247 or text ‘Help’ to 51444

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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