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LGBTQ+ support

Being part of the LGBTQ+ community can bring its challenges. Everyone is different and unique in their own way and this should be celebrated. However, if you're feeling confused by your gender identity and/or sexual orientation, or you don't feel like you're being accepted for who you are, this can affect your mental health and its important to take action.


LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), and others. The ‘plus’ represents other sexual identities.

The language we use when talking about sexuality is very important because it can have an effect on people’s wellbeing. You can visit the Brook website to learn about different terms to do with sexuality.  There is also some great information on sexuality definitions and support for coming out on the Childline website.

Gender identity

Transgender describes people who feel that the sex they were assigned to at birth doesn’t match how they feel inside. For example, someone who was born as a girl but who has always felt like a boy. If you are feeling confused about your gender, there is lots of information available to support you.  Visit the Childline website for information and practical tips on gender dysphoria, transitioning and how to support someone with their gender identity.

Mermaids is a charity that provides online support for transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse young people. They provide practical tips to support someone who thinks they may be transgender, non-binary or gender-diverse, including who to talk to for advice, how to change your name and how to talk to your family and friends. Visit the Mermaids website for more support and information.


LGBTQ+ Youth Groups in North Yorkshire

Yorkshire MESMAC is a sexual health organisation, with LGBTQ+ youth groups in Scarborough, Harrogate and Selby. Visit the MESMAC website for more information about when they meet and how to get in contact.

Getting More Help

Talking to family and friends about your worries can help you feel more supported. You might want to talk to someone outside the family like a GP, teacher or mentor at school, or even a friend’s parent. Choose someone you trust and if you find it difficult to talk about how you are feeling, you could write them a letter or send them a text. Support is also available through Childline, Compass BUZZ, Kooth and Recovery College Online.


Childline provides a free and confidential telephone service for children and young people up to the age of 19.

Visit Childline website Call 08001111


Compass BUZZ offers a confidential text messaging service, called BUZZ US, to young people aged 11-18 across North Yorkshire.

Visit Compass BUZZ website Call 07520 631168


Kooth online counselling is a free, safe and anonymous service for 11-18 year olds where young people can chat 1-2-1 with counsellors.

Visit Kooth website

Recovery College Online

The Recovery College Online provides a range of online educational courses and resources to people with mental illness.

Visit Recovery College Online website

Getting Urgent Help

If you’ve seriously injured yourself or taken an overdose call 999 or get immediate medical advice from NHS 111.

If you are in a crisis and feel like you can’t cope, speak to somebody straight away. See the Urgent Help page for contact details for the North Yorkshire single point of access Crisis Service.

Things you might find useful

Yorkshire MESMAC

Yorkshire MESMAC offers sexual health support and advice. Read examples of coming out stories here.

Visit Yorkshire MESMAC website


Mermaids is one of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities, and provides secure online communities, local community groups, helpline services, web resources, events and residential weekends.

Visit Mermaids website

Young Minds

Read the ‘Coming Out and My Mental Health’ Blog.

Visit Young Minds website

NYCC LGBT Guidance for Professionals

Although this guidance is designed for professionals, it also includes useful contacts of LGBT youth groups in North Yorkshire.

View NYCC LGBT Guidance for Professionals

North Yorkshire Police

For information on hate crime and how to report it.

Visit North Yorkshire Police website

LGBT Foundation

If you are struggling with your identity, sexuality or feeling low, the LGBT Foundation website can help. Includes info on free telephone counselling, and topics from bullying to LGBT mental health.

Visit LGBT Foundation website

Queer Futures

Queer Futures is a national study investigating the self-harm and suicide of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

Visit Queer Futures website

The Proud Trust

The Proud Trust is an organisation that helps LGBT+ young people empower themselves, to make a positive change for themselves, and their communities.

Visit The Proud Trust website


Stonewall is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity. Visit their website for help and advice, as well as ways to get involved with their charity.

Visit Stonewall website


Visit TransUnite to find a Transgender support group near you.

Visit TransUnite website

Switchboard LGBT+

Switchboard LGBT+ helpline offers support and information. They offer a safe space for anyone to discuss anything, including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional wellbeing.

Visit Switchboard LGBT+ website Call 0300 330 0630

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