Project number: 2021-1-HR01-KA220-YOU-000029385

Dates: 1-11-2021 until 1-5-2024

Duration: 30 months (CURRENT)

Partners from: Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovakia


“LGBTIQ Youth affirmative mental health approaches” is a Key Action 2 project which aims to

strengthen capacities of partner organisations in the field, to create a network of EU community of practices, to upskill youth workers and mental health professionals from the field and exchange good practices  through  the  development  of  innovative  project  results  based  on  the  concept  of  Body oriented mental health as a tool for working with LGBTIQ youth mental health in Europe. As stated in the  LGBTIQ  Equality  Strategy  2020- 2025  “Discrimination  on  grounds  of  sexual  orientation,  gender identity/expression and sex characteristic can also have a significant impact on LGBTIQ people’s physical,  mental  and  sexual  health  and  their  well ‑ being.  EU  research  has  demonstrated  significant health  inequalities  between  the  LGBTIQ  community  and  the  population  as  a  whole.  In  addition, LGBTIQ people are often reluctant to seek healthcare, because they have experienced or fear hostile reactions from health professionals and still struggle to access quality and affordable medication and care, including community and social care. Those who have disabilities, are elderly, migrants, or come from ethnic or religious minority backgrounds are particularly vulnerable to discrimination. The COVID-19 crisis has increased this vulnerability”. Recent research also shows that even when greater social acceptance   and   support   for   equal   rights   is   present,   it   has   not   always   translated   into   clear improvements in LGBTIQ people’s lives. In a 2019 survey, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) found that  discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and  sex  characteristics  was  increasing  in  the  EU:  43%  of  LGBT  people  declared  that  they  felt discriminated  against  in 2019, as  compared  to 37%  in  2012.  In  addition,  it  is  highlighted  in  the  The European  Union  Youth  Strategy  2019 – 2027  “A  significant  and  increasing  number  of  young  people across  Europe  are  expressing  their  concern  at  the  prevalence  of  mental  health  issues  such  as  high stress,  anxiety,  depression  and  other  mental  illnesses  amongst  their  peers.  Young  people  cite  the immense  societal  pressures  they  face  today  and  express  a  need  for  better  youth  mental  health provision”. Therefore, one of the main targets on the EU level is to provide all professionals working with young people as well as family and friends with quality mental health first aid training approach to mental health, not to mention therapeutic perspective that has been on rise in the last couple of years,  and  especially  nowadays  having  in  mind  global  pandemic.  Namely,  lesbian,  gay,  bisexual, transgender, and other self -identified queer (LGBTQ) youth have higher rates of mental health issues than people in the general population. This could be due to neglect, lack of support, discrimination, trauma, abuse, etc that could potentially lead to poor mental health, suicide, substance abuse, anti-social  behaviour,  at  risk  sexual  encounters,  depression,  stress,  anxiety etc.  To tackle  some  of  these issues and to create a support network, community of practices and peer support networks we would like  to  explore  body-oriented  approaches  in  working  with  LGBTIQ  youth  mental  health  that  could potentially lead to regaining strength, power, self-esteem, and self-acceptance within this cohort. We would  like  to  explore  what  is  out  there  within  the  EU  context,  how  we  could  collaborate,  grow together, learn from each other and of course to create resources that capture all these practices at one place. Alongside building an international community of practices and sharing knowledge it would be  of  advantage  to  capture  case  studies of  the work  that  partners  have  been  implementing  so  far.

Therefore, project resources or intellectual outputs developed will be presented as a Guidebook and series of educational/tool presenting videos that would be disseminated across EU and available for use for the organisations interested in LGBTIQ youth mental health.