Anna Freud Centre staff, students and Champions march to mark London Pride

2nd July 2019 By: Tim Linehan

On Saturday 6th July staff, students, Young and Parent Champions from the Anna Freud Centre will march in the London Pride Parade to celebrate the diversity of our workforce and our Champions, and to show our support for LGBTQI+ youth mental health.

This year the march marks the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, the birth of the modern LGBTQI+ movement.

At the march, the Anna Freud Centre team will be distributing material to young people encouraging those who need support to seek it from our On My Mind site and other sources.

Government data shows that young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or gender non-conforming are roughly two-and-a-half times more likely to have a mental health problem than young people who identify as heterosexual.[i] Research consistently shows that LGBTQI+ young people report higher rates of suicidal ideation, suicidal behaviour, mood and anxiety disorder symptoms, as well as emotional distress when compared to heterosexual young people.[ii]



Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre said: “There is no question that the way we, as a society, respond to the sexuality of others, is often detrimental to their mental health. It is profoundly wrong that people we know and love fear rejection from their friends and families, from their colleagues and workplaces, feel vulnerable to abuse and fear violence simply because of their sexual identity.

“Being accepted is a human need. It is not a privilege to have that need met, but a basic right, one from which all other opportunities flow. When we can all assert our individuality and flourish, and when we have the respect we need to feel proud of who we are, we will have a fairer society. It’s in recognition of this aspiration that the Anna Freud Centre is marching in celebration and solidarity with Pride.”

 

[i] NHS Digital (2018). Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017: Summary of Key Findings. Government Statistical Service.

[ii] (Eskin et al., 2005; Fergusson et al., 2005; Fleming et al., 2007; Marshal et al., 2011; Russell & Fish, 2016).

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