Support the LGBT Ireland Fundraiser

A lifeline for the LGBTI+ community during COVID-19

Our LGBTI+ community has been hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions.

We have seen first hand that LGBTI+ people who are marginalised are really struggling as a result of COVID-19 restrictions – these include older people, members of the Traveller and Roma community, LGBTI+ Refugees and Asylum Seekers who are living in Direct Provision centres.

We have been working with the LGBTI+ community across Ireland for 10 years and have never asked for financial support like this. We have been doing everything we can to support our community – but we need your help to keep up with the increased demand for services.

We know the community is struggling during COVID-19. We recently carried out a Life in Lockdown Survey which asked 1855 LGBTI+ people about their experience of lockdown.

  • 62% of LGBTI+ people reporting a decline in their mental health compared to 51% of the general population. 
     
  • 28% reported not being comfortable being ‘out’ in their home environments, which exacerbated feelings of isolation, loneliness, sadness and anxiety.
     
  • 64% of older (55+) LGBTI+ people reported a decline in their mental health.
     
  • 90% of LGBTI+ refugees and asylum seekers who are living in Direct Provision centres, reported a deterioration in their mental health.
     
  • 85% of LGBTI+ people who are from the Traveller and Roma Community reported a deterioration in their mental health.

We provide a confidential LGBTI+ National Helpline 7 days a week and Transgender Family Support Line 2 days a week. We are seeing a huge increase in demand for our services during the pandemic.

  • We have seen a 3-fold increase in the number of people contacting our helpline to disclose experiences of homophobic and transphobic abuse and domestic violence.
     
  • We have seen a 4-fold increase in the number of older LGBTI+ people contacting our helpline, looking for support to cope with isolation, loneliness and anxiety.
     
  • Only 50% of our phone line is funded by Government sources.

We are doing everything we can with limited resources to increase the support for those who need help during this difficult time. It’s very hard to fundraise during COVID-19 but our community needs support more than ever before.

So far during COVID-19…

  • We have provided an uninterrupted helpline and online services offering confidential emotional support and information 7 days a week.
     
  • We have set up an Older and Bolder online community group which now has 240 active members who are aged 55+. We offer social and well-being events, including weekly coffee mornings, mindfulness sessions, gardening lessons and cooking demonstrations.
     
  • We have doubled the number of peer support meetings for LGBTI+ refugee and asylum seekers.  We are also undertaking one to one emergency visits to LGBTI+ people living in Direct Provision, who are experiencing significant levels of distress, including suicidal ideation. We have also provided Smart Phones to a small number of people, who didn’t have any other means to access our online support groups.
     
  • We have provided training for Traveller Mental Health Services which were in high demand during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and public health restrictions, including the Traveller Counselling Service, Offaly Traveller Movement, Tallaght Travellers CDP, National Traveller Women’s Forum and MABS.
     
  • We have provided online support and networking opportunities to enable our LGBT Champions Network of 120 health and social care professionals working in older people’s services to stay connected and informed about the specific needs of LGBTI+ people in the pandemic. This included running a webinar on LGBTI+ inclusive care, which was attended by over 220 health professionals, in partnership with the INMO.

During the pandemic, mental health support for LGBTI+ people is more important than ever.

 

That’s why LGBT Ireland needs your help to support our community– please donate and give a lifeline to the LGBTI+ community in Ireland during this difficult time.

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