Being a young lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning young person can be both exciting and stressful. Sometimes the pressure on young people can cause them to do things which may put themselves at risk such as using alcohol or drugs, self-harming or thinking about suicide.
Why is this study being done in England?
International studies have shown that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people experience significantly higher rates of self-harm and suicide than their heterosexual peers. So far there has not been enough research done in England to establish evidence related to LGBT adolescents’ suicide, self-harm and help seeking behaviour. In order to provide health professionals and services with meaningful information about how to help young LGBTQ people who are feeling distressed, it’s important for us to find out what kind of circumstances they are experiencing.
What is this research going to achieve?
We plan to listen to young LGBTQ people’s opinions and experiences and then write a report. We hope that this study will shed light on the unique experiences that each young LGBTQ person has, including both good and bad. This will help us to understand the reasons why some young LGBTQ people in England do risky things, harm themselves or think about suicide. We hope this will make it easier to find ways to help young LGBTQ people in distress.