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A fifth of gay people tried suicide – “Step up and Speak out”

category national | gender and sexuality | press release author Tuesday June 16, 2009 16:10author by Volunteer - SpunOut.ieauthor email info at spunout dot ieauthor address www.SpunOut.ieauthor phone 091 533693 Report this post to the editors

Follow my example

www.SpunOut.ie, an independent, youth powered national charity based in Galway, is calling on young people and especially young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender people to speak out and follow the example of SpunOut.ie long time volunteer and Project Worker, Ian Howley.
SpunoUt.ie lgbt homepage
SpunoUt.ie lgbt homepage

www.SpunOut.ie, an independent, youth powered national charity based in Galway, is calling on young people and especially young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender people to speak out and follow the example of SpunOut.ie long time volunteer and Project Worker, Ian Howley.

Ian, 25, from Athlone, Co. Westmeath, is urging young people to start speaking about their problems and to seek support. In his teens, Ian had to battle with his own sexuality and faced a long and lonely path through depression and nearly lost his life to suicide three times. Ian recalls “When I first realised I was gay, I hated myself, I hated who I was and what I had become. I hated the way society looked at me and I felt like I didn’t belong. Unfortunately, I tried to take my life three times but it was only after finding an inner strength and accepting who I was that I could overcome my problems.”

This comes on the back of shocking statistics that a fifth of young gay people have tried suicide* and a report yesterday that homophobic bullying is widespread among teenagers with some teachers even accused of name-calling in class.** Some 460 people died by suicide in Ireland in 2007, up almost 50 from the previous year. Four times more men take their own life in Ireland than in the UK, with men under 35 accounting for 40% of all suicides.***

Ian is currently running a LGBT Outreach programme, which promotes LGBT support services such as BeLonG To, the Gay Switchboard and regional support services such as shOUT! in Galway. Each service provides a safe and open spaces for young LGBT people. SpunOut.ie are also offering young LGBT people information and a platform to get their opinions heard and to make personal and social change. Ian adds, “In this difficult time, it is essential for young people to feel like they have support, especially in rural areas where the lack of support services are evident. The support these services provides are essential for young people to grow and to feel like they have a place in society."

Ian is urging young people throughout Ireland, to follow his example and to speak openly and honestly about what they are going through. He adds, “Only by talking about your problems can you overcome them. Over the last 4 years I have stepped up and spoke to millions of people about what I went through as I felt it was a great way to make a real difference."

Finally Ian adds- “All it took was a small bit of courage and my life changed forever. I would love to see other young people following my example, to step up, speak out and to help other young people out there. If I can do this, anyone can.”

Gay Switchboard - 01-8721055


Further info

*The study was carried out by the Children’s Research Centre in Trinity College and the School of Education at UCD

Related Link: http://www.spunout.ie/about/Blog/SpunOut.ie-wants-you-to-Step-up-and-Speak-out

Ian Howley
Ian Howley

author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 16:24author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

inspiring and very admirable work, we need more life savers like your good self.

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