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New survey reveals nearly 80 per cent of trans people have considered suicide

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A new report co-authored by a Sheffield Hallam University academic has revealed the shocking levels of suicide attempt rates amongst the trans community in Ireland.

According to Speaking from the Margins: Trans Mental Health and Wellbeing in Ireland, which looks at the mental health of young transgender people, almost one in three of the trans community has attempted suicide.

The report has beenpublished this afternoon by the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and was co-written by Sheffield Hallam's Dr Sonja Ellis. It has found that 78 per cent of respondents had contemplated suicide, with 40 per cent of those attempting it at least once.

The report finds that in the last year some participants attempted suicide twice, and that across their life span some attempted it more than 10 times.

78 per cent of respondents had considered suicide, and 40 per cent of these had attempted to take their own lives at least once. The levels of self-harm reported were also disturbing, with 44 per cent of people having self-harmed.

The results are part of the largest trans survey carried out in Ireland. The survey was carried out between June and August 2012, with 210 people responding.

TENI Director Broden Giambrone said: "Trans people experienced worrying levels of violence because of their gender identity: Six per cent of trans people had been raped; 36 per cent had been sexually harassed; 16 per cent were physically assaulted and 64 per cent 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 per cent of trans people avoided public spaces due to a fear of being harassed."
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 per cent of respondents from exploring their gender and 19 per cent of people were told they 'weren't really trans'.

Sonja Ellis

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TENI Health and Education Officer Vanessa Lacey added: "Trans people are treated like second-class citizens. 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."

Dr Ellis said: "This report, like its UK counterpart - The UK Trans Mental Health Study 2012 - is the only report to comprehensively provide an indication of the mental health and wellbeing of the trans population.

"This will be of tremendous use in assisting mental health workers to appropriately support trans people and to improve the quality of health provision for this population."

Speaking from the Margins will be available as a download from TENI's website at To order hardcopies, email

For press information about Dr Ellis: contact Laurie Harvey in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email

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