This #PrideMonth we will amplify the organisations that are tackling the LGBTQ+ youth mental health and homelessness crisis.
Almost one in five LGBTQ+ people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives? And that rates are even higher among trans people, with 25% having faced homelessness?
LGBTQ+ young people are four times more likely to become homeless than their peers.Llamau.org.uk
Homelessness is a serious issue that affects many LGBTQ+ young people in Wales, especially those who face rejection, abuse or violence from their families or partners because of their identity. According to akt, a charity that supports LGBTQ+ young people facing homelessness, 77% of their service users cited family issues as a cause of their homelessness.
Being homeless can have a devastating impact on the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ young people. They may struggle to find safe and supportive accommodation, access health care and education, and establish or maintain relationships. They may also face discrimination or harassment from service providers or other homeless people. Over half of LGBTQ+ young people have faced some form of discrimination or harassment while accessing services.
In Wales, 4.8% of cisgender LGBQ+ people and 9.0% of trans people have been offered conversion practices, a harmful intervention that aims to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Conversion practices can cause severe psychological distress and increase the risk of suicide among LGBTQ+ people.
Stonewall's research paints a picture as to why access to mental health support is needed:
🌈48% of pupils have had little to no positive messaging about being LGBT+ at school
🌈 40% are never taught anything about LGBT issues at school
🌈 50% LGBT pupils hear homophobic slurs 'frequently' or 'often' at school
🌈 64% of LGBTQ+ people had experienced anti-LGBT+ violence or abuse
🌈 34% of Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident in the past twelve months, compared to 20% of white LGBT people
🌈 42% of LGBT students have hidden their identity at university for fear of discrimination*
🌈 28% of LGBT students say they were excluded by other students for being LGBT*
*though openness increases from 64% at school to 82% at university or college
Support the services that support LGBTQ+ youth
This may be the first you are hearing of such issues, but that’s why it’s vital to raise awareness and support for LGBTQ+ young people who are experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environments.
The Welsh Government has recently published an ambitious LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales that seeks to tackle the existing structural inequalities experienced by LGBTQ+ communities, to challenge discrimination and to create a society where LGBTQ+ people are safe to live and love authentically, openly and freely as themselves.
💪 The plan aims to strengthen equality and human rights, ban conversion practices, improve health and social care services, and promote LGBTQ+ inclusion in education and employment.
📢 There are great organisations providing safe housing, advice, advocacy and support for LGBTQ+ young people across Wales, such as Llamau, Umbrella Cymru, Stonewall Housing, akt, MindOut3 and Pride Cymru. Hit the links to find out more about their work and how to get involved or access their services.
This #PrideMonth 🏳️🌈 we will use our social channels to amplify the work of organisations tackling the LGBTQ+ youth homelessness and mental health crisis to make sure that every young person has access to support, a safe place to call home, and environment to be themselves.
It takes a village 🌈
Gem Hallett, miFuture Founder.
www.miFuture.co.uk | @miFutureSkills