Supporting a young person's safety and wellbeing
Staying safe | Advice for parents, carers and friends | Advice for teachers
If someone withholds thoughts and feelings about their gender or sexual identity for some time, it's likely to have a negative effect on them.
Nov. 3, 2022
It's very common for LGBTQ+ young people (and adults) to have mental health issues such as depression or anxiety because this is something they have been struggling with.
Many LGBTQ+ young people are also – even today – bullied in school or college, which can have an additional detrimental effect on their wellbeing.
- 45% of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils in schools experience bullying because of their sexual orientation
- 64% of trans young people in schools experience bullying
- 3 in 5 lesbian, gay and bisexual young people self-harm
- 4 in 5 trans young people self-harm
- 1 in 5 young lesbian, gay and bisexual students has tried to end their life
- 2 in 5 young trans students have tried to end their life
These numbers (from the Stonewall School Report, 2017) are improving, but they are still a major concern.
Finding the right mental health support
If your child or friend is coming out as LGBTQ+, or even if they are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, it is very likely that they will experience mental health issues to some degree. As a parent, carer or friend it is absolutely crucial that you make sure they have appropriate mental health support.
Safety and sexual health
It’s very likely that your child or friend will not have received adequate information about sexual health. Stonewall (2017) reported that only 1 in 5 young people have been taught about safe sex in LGB relationships at school. For advice around this visit, for example, lgbt.foundation/sexualhealth, go to our resources page or visit your local sexual health clinic.
There is a lot of information online about being LGBTQ+ and a lot of it is not safe. Safe sources of information can be found on this page and on our resources page.
Talk to your child about where they get their information and online safety. Following someone on Instagram might be fun – even inspirational – but it should not be treated as a main source of information and advice regarding sexual health, transitioning, hormonal therapies or relationships.
It is also common for young people to meet people online who they later on decide to meet in person. This could be a risk to their safety and they need to be aware of the dangers of online dating and speaking to strangers over the internet.
If you are the parent or carer of a young LGBTQ+ person we can support you.
We run fortnightly online meet-ups on a Friday at 5:30pm. These are a great way for parents to come together to meet other parents of LGBTQ+ young people. It’s also an opportunity for you to meet the team and ask them any questions you may have around LGBTQ+ or issues affecting your child.