Saturday 19 April 2014

Gay people at highest risk of suicide, warns support service

Labour TD John Lyons with Minister Pat Rabbitte and Tony Cooney and Maria Keogh of Gay Switchboard Ireland. Frank McGrath

MEMBERS of the gay community are seven times more likely to attempt suicide than other people, Ireland's oldest support service has revealed.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) regularly face stigma, which often leads to poor mental, emotional and sexual health, according to the Gay Switchboard, which is celebrating 40 years of service.

Founded as Tel-A-Friend in 1974, Gay Switchboard has answered approximately 116,000 calls from young people confused about their sexuality. Last year alone, they took 2,760 calls.

A new-look image and website for the service will be launched today by Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte at the Outhouse LGBT Community Centre on Capel Street in Dublin.

Mr Rabbitte said the fact the service has existed for 40 years demonstrates a need that "clearly remains valid today."

Irish Independent

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