June 2022 is Pride Month in the UK, an opportunity to celebrate LGBTQ+ identities, but also recognise inequalities of experiences for these communities. We highlight below a range of resources and research to do with mental health and wellbeing in LGBTQ+ young people and students and end with some reflections on the current situation within UK HE.
NIHR Report: Young People's Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic
This recent research involved a sample of Year 9 students, but noted specific vulnerable groups including those identifying as LGBTQ+ , who would benefit from future support. Something vital for universities to consider as these students progress to HE.
e-Learning course for those working with young people, from Stonewall in partnership with YoungMinds: Improving LGBTQ+ young people’s mental health and wellbeing
Ongoing Wellcome funded project at McPin: Universal School Interventions: improving the mental health of young LGBTQ+ people
LGBTQ+ Resources from Student Minds
Student Minds Report: LGBTQ+ Student Mental Health: The challenges and needs of gender, sexual and romantic minorities in Higher Education (from 2018)
LGBTQ+ Mental Health Research Group based at KCL, with ongoing projects including:
The International Partnership for Queer Youth Resilience, an interdisciplinary and multilingual research partnership designed to understand and support the resilience of LGBTQ+ youth through technology-engaged research and practice and The Tackling Inequalities and Discrimination Experiences in health Services (TIDES) study.
General and LGBTQ-specific factors associated with mental health and suicide risk among LGBTQ students
Anxiety and isolation as an LGBTQ+ student
A powerful video, filmed by a student, as part of Student Mind’s Student Space
MindOut, a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people
Switchboard, the LGBT+ Helpline
Further to the above, UCAS recently published a report which, whilst also detailing ongoing issues, found that students intend to be more open about their sexual orientation and gender identity in higher education, with overall levels of openness increasing from 64% at school to an expected 82% at university or college.
Research shows that LGBTQ+ students significantly experience difficulties with their mental health and face disadvantage within academic culture and wider society. This is why it is important to recognise the need for targeted support. For many students, however, their progression to HE is can be seen as an intimidating, but positive step, so it is also important to uplift LGBQT+ voices and share positive stories.
For Pride 2022, TASO published its report on the subjective wellbeing of LGBTQ+ students. Whilst there are still clear systemic issues within HE, which we must all address, their findings indicate that we are slowly making changes to the university environment and academic culture, to make them more inclusive and supportive spaces for LGBTQ+ students.
UCAS report: What is the experience of LGBT+ Student in Education?
TASO report: The Wellbeing of LGBTQ+ Students
HEPI blog post outlining the key findings from TASO’s work
Further to ideas outlined above, we suggest you read ‘How has the LGBQT+ student experience changed over time?’, a blog post on Unite Students from the team behind National Student Pride
We are using this blog to help connect stakeholders across Higher Education interested in student mental health. If you have a project you are working on or an idea you'd like to develop, why not write your own blog post for us?