Almost 80 per cent of transgender people here have considered suicide and 40 per cent of these have attempted suicide at least once, a survey published today finds.
The study on mental health and wellbeing among the transgender community finds 78 per cent have considered suicide and 44 per cent have engaged in some form of self-harm.
The study, Speaking From The Margins, is the first on mental health in the Irish 'trans' community and was conducted by Transgender Equality Network Ireland. It is based on a survey of 164 participants carried out with the support of the HSE and Denis O'Brien's social charity, the Iris O'Brien Foundation.
Although the sample is relatively small, the study confirms the findings of larger international studies on the mental wellbeing of transgender people.
Transgender people have a gender identity or expression different to the one they were born with. They are not legally recognised in Ireland – Ireland is the last State in Europe not to allow transgender people to have their birth certificate reissued in their preferred gender, although Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has committed to such legislation.
Among the reasons given for self-harming and suicidality are gender dysphoria (extreme distress associated with discontent with one’s gender), family rejection, stigma, harassment and uncertainty around the question of transitioning to their preferred gender.