Mental health struggles are unfortunately a common experience for queer young people.
A study conducted by stonewall found that half of LGBT people had experienced depression and 60% had experienced anxiety.
There can be many reasons for this but bullying, discrimination and isolation are large factors. An increase in education and awareness about LGBT issues in the wider community and especially in schools can really improve the experiences of queer young people.
The support for young peoples’ mental health, especially those within the LGBT community should come from many places. From more funding into mental health services but also from the support of others, as experienced at Space Youth Project (SYP). Mental health issues can often stem from a feeling of isolation so it is very important for improving the mental health of young people to generate a supportive community. To be involved with activities and socialise with others can help to combat the feelings of isolation and depression that are shared by many LGBT young people.
Since 2001 Space Youth Project has been active in the local community, supporting LGBT young people and their families. They have done this via 1-2-1 support both inside and out of groups and also by providing a safe space for young people to be themselves around people that are going through similar experiences.
Personally, I have found the sessions at SYP to be a warm and welcoming environment. It has given me something to look forward to each week and a place where I do not have to fear rejection for being myself.
SYP is a great place to meet new people and make friends. There are always excellent youth workers available to talk to if there are any issues on your mind.
If you need support outside of group, Space Youth Project has a page of resources you can access via their website.
Written by Supernova, Charlie