The need for increased mental health supports and recognition of the LGBTQ+ community in Clare has been identified through a recent survey conducted by the Clare Public Participation Network (PPN).

The survey, which was issued online in March, set out to gauge what would improve the lives of individuals within the community in Clare. Funding was offered by Clare PPN, Clare Women’s Network, Clare Local Development Company and Rape Crisis Midwest.

Recording 50 responses, the survey outlined that 70 per cent of respondents had received discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. A further 30 per cent felt that their gender identity or sexual orientation is not understood. One of the biggest factors highlighted, was the lack of mental health supports available for those within the LGBTQ+ community in Clare.

“What shocked me was that we had some respondents that said they were straight acting or hadn’t come out yet. For younger generations it may not be that difficult but for older generations it can be. In Ireland, gender equality is still an ongoing issue. People are afraid to come out. There is real need for a peer support group in Clare and that’s what we are aiming to provide,” stated Meabh Sexton, who works in partnership with Clare PPN and Clare Women’s Network.

A subsequent meeting was held by members of the short-term LGBTQ+ project in Clare, to discuss issues raised by the survey. An interest was registered in establishing a help line for people within the community as well as a support group that would meet on a monthly basis. Further training within existing mental health supports in Clare, specifically around sexual orientation was also flagged. Further education within the school system surrounding sexual health and gender identity is another key element that the project hopes to address going forward.

Meabh added that those outside the LGBTQ+ community can help by “showing visible support. One of the members from our meeting is living in direct provision. This person noted a complete lack of visibility for the LGBTQ+ community in Clare. They weren’t aware if Clare is welcoming or a safe space to come out. There are many people in Clare that are incredibly supportive, but visibly showing that support is important. It would definitely be a benefit to be a bit more vocal about it.”

It was suggested that this openness could be pioneered by business owners through putting up gay flags or posts on Facebook. Moving forward, LGBTQ+ Clare plan to invite more people to their meetings and put in place the solutions drawn up from the results of the survey. “Future events, post COVID, such as a pride parade are also being discussed,” Meabh concluded.

Related News

le24 election count timmy dooley liam grant 1
Green Grant says politics & campaigning was 'so mentally tough'
le24 tony o'brien 1
'Dialogue & honey' key to a progressive Council - O'Brien
garda checkpoint clare
Distraught driver heard say 'why didn't I hit the fox?' at crash which claimed grand-mother's life
kerstin mey
Prof Kerstin Mey resigns as UL President
Latest News
le24 tony o'brien 1
'Dialogue & honey' key to a progressive Council - O'Brien
garda checkpoint clare
Distraught driver heard say 'why didn't I hit the fox?' at crash which claimed grand-mother's life
kerstin mey
Prof Kerstin Mey resigns as UL President
ifa meeting conor o'leary 4
Clare farmers under extreme pressure
ruairi keenan 1
'I've a taste for the blood now' - Clare's youngest candidate Keenan commits to running again
Premium
ruairi keenan 1
'I've a taste for the blood now' - Clare's youngest candidate Keenan commits to running again
le24 election david griffin 1
'In certain parts of Newmarket-on-Fergus people wouldn't have known me in November' admits poll-topper David Griffin
le24 election clare colleran molloy 2
'It's not a sport but like a blood sport' - Colleran Molloy comes out with stronger vote
court seat
Gardaí to recommend to DPP that Ennis man be charged with kidnapping child
clare v limerick 11-06-23 tony kelly 2
The biggest disappointment is the performance' - Tony Kelly

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top