BreakOut is a youth project focused on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender young people aged between 16 and 23 years. The project operates a weekly drop-in provision in Letterkenny and Ballybofey as well as training, information and one to one support.
The aim of BreakOut is to ‘work for an Ireland where LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) young people are empowered to embrace their development and growth confidently and to participate as agents of positive social change in their own environment’.
To enable this to happen BreakOut provides safe, appropriate and fun youth work services to LBGT young people in Donegal (16-23) which:
- Facilitate them through exploration, development and growth.
- Enable them to access all their rights as equal citizens.
- Empowers them to participate as agents in positive social change.
Through our countrywide youth service we work to promote services to LGBT young people throughout Donegal.
Issues continuing to affect LGBT Young people which are dealt with in the project are:
- Being bullied and victimized, particularly in school and their local communities.
- Lack of peer support and fear of communicating this to family members.
- Marginalization in school and local communities.
- Education: lack of inclusion of LGBT sexuality in existing school programmes.
- Mental Health issues, including depression and eating disorders.
- Suicidal ideation and vulnerability to self-harming.
- Poor self-image as a consequence of negative societal attitudes to their sexual identity.
- Drug and alcohol misuse, often as a coping mechanism for dealing with victimization and marginalisation.
- Internalized homophobia – due to their experiences of homophobia
BreakOut operates with a countrywide steering group consisting of personnel from the HSE, Gardai, Youth Reach, Donegal Youth Service, Donegal Youth Council, Letterkenny Youth and Family Service, ETB Youth Officer, Inishowen Development Partnership, Pobail Le Cheile, Family Resource Centres and Belong to. The project has been in operation since April 2009 and has a 10 hour per week dedicated worker.
For more information you can check out their own Facebook page here: BreakOUT Donegal