In the last two decades, Ireland has slowly but steadily made significant advancement
in the civil and legal rights of its LGBT citizens. As a direct consequence of these
developments, Ireland has evolved from a society noted for being LGBTI oppressive
to being considered internationally as a forerunner in ensuring the equal civil rights
of LGBT people. Notwithstanding these most welcome changes, there are notable
deficits in our knowledge surrounding the mental health and well-being of LGBTI
people in Ireland, and in particular the extent to which experiences and mental health outcomes are similar or different across all LGBTI people. In addition, there is also an absence of comprehensive research on attitudes towards LGBTI people amongst the general population in Ireland, and as a consequence there is little discussion on the interrelationship between public attitudes and LGBTI people’s lived experiences in school, college, work and other contexts. In an effort to understand the lives of LGBTI
people in the Republic of Ireland and the factors that may impede or facilitate their
mental health and well-being, this study, conducted prior to the May 2015 Marriage
Equality referendum, comprised two distinct, concurrent modules: module 1 and module 2.
Module one explored the mental health and well-being experiences of LGBTI people in Ireland. Due to the extraordinary response rate received from the LGBTI population, this study is considered to be the largest study of LGBTI people in Ireland to date, the largest study of transgender people, and the first study with a sample of intersex people.
Module one ’s objectives were:
• To examine mental well-being (self-esteem, life satisfaction and happiness) and mental health issues (depression, anxiety, stress, substance misuse, self-harm and suicidality) among LGBTI people in Ireland, with specific emphasis on the
adolescent and young adult cohort.
• To explore the impact of ‘minority stress’ on LGBTI mental health including
experiences of coming out and experiences of discrimination in the context of school/college/work.
Module two assessed Irish public attitudes towards LGBT people.
Module two ’s objective was:
• To measure attitudes towards LGBT people in a nationally representative sample of the Irish public.