New resource to help LGBTQI+ young people with their mental health
9th December 2021 | By: Michelle Cunliffe
Today, the Anna Freud Centre has released a new resource, LGBTQI+ mental health, which explores some important topics in relation to being a member of the LGBTQI+ community. It also provides advice for LGBTQI+ young people on where they can go to get additional support for mental health problems, should they arise.
Research has shown that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTQI+) young people are over two-and-a-half times more likely to have a mental health problem as those who identify as heterosexual.[i]
Being LGBTQI+ does not mean that a young person will have a mental health problem. However, identifying as part of the LGBTQI+ community can lead to unique challenges in growing up and as an adult – including fears about coming out, worries about being accepted by friends and family, and the impact of prejudice and discrimination.
Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, says: “There is no question that the way we, as a society, respond to the sexuality or gender identity 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 – and feel vulnerable to abuse and fear violence – simply because of their sexual or gender 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 sexual and gender identity, and when we have the respect we need to feel proud of who we are, we will have a fairer society.”
This resource was created by Anna Freud Centre staff following a survey and workshops with LGBTQI+ young people, including the Centre’s Young Champions. The Centre’s LGBTQI+, Anti-Racism and Accessibility Working Groups also reviewed the resource.
In the new resource, topics include: coming out, intersectionality, common challenges for LGBTQI+ young people, and LGBTQI+ specific help and support.
To view and download the LGBTQI+ mental health resource, visit www.annafreud.org/lgbtqi.
[i] NHS Digital (2018). Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017: Summary of Key Findings. Government Statistical Service.