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Supporting the mental health of LGBTQ+ young people

Supporting the mental health of LGBTQ+ young people

LGBTQ+ young people experience poor mental health at a disproportionate rate. Here, we share some resources where you can learn how to better support LGBTQ+ young people who might be struggling.

In April 2021, Just Like Us surveyed 11 to 18-year-olds and found that LGBT+ young people are twice as likely to experience depression, anxiety and panic attacks than those who are not LGBT+.

Research by the Mental Health Foundation found that members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to experience poor mental health, with 50% experiencing depression and 3 in 5 experiencing anxiety. But it's also important to note that being LGBTQ+ doesn't automatically mean someone will have mental health issues.

Whether you're a parent, carer, teacher, school staff member, friend or family member, there's much more we can do to support LGBTQ+ young people, such as:

  • tackling stigma 
  • addressing discrimination
  • helping young people in their coming out journeys
  • supporting young people who are struggling with their identity.

We've pulled together a selection of useful articles and resources to help you do this. 

Resources for families 

Parenting Smart – positive gender identity development 

Learn how to support your child to develop their sense of self if they're confused about their gender identity. 

Parenting Smart – sexual development 

Learn how you can support your child through the different stages of sexual development, including helping them to understand:

  • their sexual orientation
  • their gender identity
  • what their minds and bodies will go through as they develop. 

Strong Family Alliance – Parent Guide to coming out 

Learn how you can support your child through their coming out journey. 

Resources for schools 

Place2Be – Being Ourselves 

Created for Children's Mental Health Week 2018, this resource includes activities to explore what makes each of us special and unique. 

Mentally Healthy Schools – LGBTQI+ children and young people 

Curated by Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Mentally Healthy Schools has advice, information and resources to help schools and colleges to support LGBTQI+ communities. Included is a helpful resource on celebrating differences for the early years.

Just Like Us – School Diversity Week 

Discover how you can celebrate LGBT+ equality in primary and secondary schools and access School Diversity Week educational resources to help you along the way. 

Stonewall – schools & colleges 

Resources to help make your school, college or setting more LGBTQ+ inclusive. 

Resources for young people 

Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline 

Switchboard provides a one-stop listening service for LGBT+ people on the phone via email and Instant Messaging. Call 0300 330 0630, between 10am-10pm daily, to speak to one of their trained volunteers. 

Stonewall – Young Futures 

This hub is full of advice and tips for LGBTQ+ young people thinking about their futures and next steps. 

The Proud Trust 

Helpful information for young people covering a range of different things such as coming out, faith and religion, and staying safe.  

Other resources you may find useful 

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families – LGBTQI+ mental health 

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