This afternoon (2 December 2013), TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland) will launch the results of the largest trans survey carried out in Ireland with the publication of Speaking from the Margins: Trans Mental Health and Wellbeing in Ireland.  The survey was carried out between June and August 2012, with 210 people responding.


The report reveals shocking levels of suicide attempt rates amongst the  trans community in Ireland. 78% of respondents had considered suicide,  and 40% of these had attempted to take their own live at least once.  The levels of self-harm reported were also disturbing, with 44% of people  having self-harmed.


“These figures are a result of the widespread transphobia in our  society,” said TENI Director Broden Giambrone.  “Trans people experienced  worrying levels of violence because of their gender identity: 6% of  trans people had been raped; 36% had been sexually harassed; 16% were  physically assaulted and 64% were mocked or called names.  The impact of this is that trans people and their families experience endemic levels of stress and anxiety.  We found that 83% of trans people  avoided public spaces due to a fear of being harassed.”


The survey showed that self-harm and suicide attempt rates plummeted when people were able to transition to their true gender.  “This was a  really specific, positive finding,” continued Giambrone.  “If people are  supported to become their true selves, their wellbeing and mental health  improve dramatically.  As one of the most marginalised communities in Ireland, it is encouraging to find that when appropriate health care is  provided, we can make a tangible improvement in the lives of trans  people and their families.”

The study also focused on mapping people’s experience within the health care system in Ireland.  The majority of trans people had had negative  experiences: health care professionals had discouraged 26% of  respondents from exploring their gender and 19% of people were told they  ‘weren’t really trans’.  “Trans people are treated like second-class  citizens,” said TENI Health & Education Officer Vanessa Lacey.  “The  amount of parents who are contacting me on a daily basis looking for  help and hope for their loved ones is astronomical.  I’m encouraged by the engagement of the HSE at a high level to take the stigma and  discrimination out of health care, but this commitment needs to resonate  throughout the system.”

To access the original article and report on the TENI website please click here.

If you are feeling suicidal please immediately contact either your GP or one of the telephone helplines listed in our Resources – Helplines section (click to go straight to the page), or use our direct hyperlink to Lifeline which is on every page of our website.  These organisations can provide you with immediate help and support.

Please also refer to our Support Groups (click to go to page) section which includes information about the support we, Focus: The Identity Trust can offer, or other organisations who may be able to help.