Mental Health and the LGBTQ community with Martin Stark, Karina Murray and Emma Smith

May 13, 2021, 03:29 PM

Alasdair Hooper hosts the fourth Mental Health Awareness Week episode all themed around mental health and sport in the LGBTQ community.

Joining the podcast for the discussion are Karina Murray, of Sporting Pride Ireland, Assistant Editor at Goal, Emma Smith, and also Martin Stark, the CEO and founder of the World Gay Boxing Championships.

Of course, being from the LGBTIQ+ community doesn't mean you will automatically have issues with your mental health.

However, a recent Stonewall study found that over the previous year half of LGBTIQ+ people had experienced depression and three in five had experienced anxiety.

One in eight LGBTIQ+ people aged 18-24 had attempted to end their life and almost half of trans people half thought about taking their life.

Each one of our guests also has their own story to tell.

For Mark, he didn't come out until the age of 27 and he came close to dying in 2017 from Addison's Disease, an experience that prompted him to take a self-defence class and then boxing that has made him the man he is today.

Karina also struggled to find out who she was growing up, but it was the LGBT clubs in Ireland where she really came to understand and accept who she was.

For Emma, she came out in 2019 as transgender and explains in this episode how she came to discover her own identity.

This is an incredibly in-depth episode but by sharing their stories, and their advice, it will hopefully help someone who may find themselves in a difficult situation.

If you are struggling with your mental health here are some organisations who can help

Mental Health Awareness Week is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. You can find more information and support it here -

Visit MindOut, the LGBTQ mental health service here -

Visit Sporting Pride Ireland here -

Find out more about the World Gay Boxing Championships here -

Follow Emma Smith here -


Follow us on Twitter -

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Visit our website -

Find out more about The Bear -

Find out about our partners The Mintridge Foundation -


Image credits: With thanks to Martin Stark, Karina Murray and Emma Smith

Music: Otis McDonald