A 2016 report on the mental health and wellbeing of LGBT+ people in Ireland reported “a large proportion of LGBTI people (approximately 70%) are experiencing positive wellbeing”. However, it also reports “rates of self-harm as two times higher, and attempted suicide as three times higher, compared to their non-LGBTI peers”.
Outhouse’s primary function is to be a place where LGBT+ people can be themselves, a safe place that contributes to well-being. At the core of Outhouse, the café is an inviting and safe spot for the LGBT+ community who pursue activities in the building. To go some way in meeting the real needs of a multiplicity of individuals regarding mental health and well being, Outhouse runs various free personal development courses for both LGBT+ men and women. These focus on improving mental wellbeing, understanding emotions, building confidence and self-esteem, coping with stress, understanding and being confident in sexuality, gender expression and gender identity, and enhancing personal relationships.
Outhouse has also recently teamed up with Aware Ireland who run a Life Skills programme where people can learn practical tips for dealing with anxiety and stress, recognise and manage unhelpful thoughts, learn new ways of thinking and ultimately begin the journey to a healthier and more confident life.
Likewise, the scale of intersecting issues and vulnerabilities of LGBT+ migrants are currently being expressed and realised, and Outhouse’s response in 2017 was to facilitate a peer support group. Meeting on the last Saturday of each month, the aptly named “Safe Space” (LGBT+ Asylum Seeker, Refugee and Migrant) acts as a vital support to its members.
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In addition to these regular groups and courses, people from the community meet up informally in Outhouse every week to connect, build friendship and relax. These meet-ups include social groups for LGBT women, a LGBT youth group, a LGBT meditation group and a few different gay men’s groups. (Many groups have migrated online during COVID but will hopefully be back meeting up in Outhouse soon)
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Various tenants hosted in the building offer mental health support services to the LGBT community, including the Gay Mental Health Service, Dublin Lesbian Line, and Gay Switchboard Ireland. https://www.outhouse.ie/tenants
If you need some help, Outhouse offers an Information and Signposting service where we can help guide you towards services or peers. Outhouse reception staff provide service users with information on all aspects of LGBT+ life and refer callers to public and social services daily. Queries include but are not limited to: sexual health, mental health, and wellbeing, counselling, Garda Liaison Officers, legal services. Our information and signposting service are available via:
Other mental health support services include: