World Mental Health Day 10 October 2021
This Sunday, 10 October is World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme is ‘mental health in an unequal world’ and a recent report by local charity Switchboard on the impact of Covid-19 on the LGBTQ communities of Brighton and Hove, has found that COVID-19 has exacerbated existing health inequalities across issues such as mental health, trans health and housing, as well as the lack of LGBTQ affirming support, with the most marginalised of LGBTQ people have struggled the most. This includes young people, people of colour and trans and/or non-binary people.
University support for students
The university’s Student Wellbeing Service provides a range of support services and is available to all students. Your School’s Student Support and Guidance Tutor (SSGT) is a useful source of support: they can help with all sorts of issues that might be impacting on your wellbeing. Find out who your SSGT is and how to contact them. If you live in Halls, you may find it helpful to speak to a member of staff in our Residential Wellbeing Team. They are here to support your transition to university life and communal living in Halls.
Students can also access free online support with Togetherall, a 24/7 online community and professional support from trained counsellors. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or unable to cope, Togetherall can help you get support, take control and feel better.
University support for LGBTQ+
The university also provides a range of support specifically for LGBTQ+ students. This includes a Named contact for trans and non-binary students who can advise on issues such as: changing one’s name, gender and title on the university system, and taking time out of one’s studies for medical treatment. We also have an LGBT professional-to-student mentoring programme delivered by the our Careers Service and the Pride Network at American Express. It aims to pair current UoB students who identify, or have identified, as LGBT and who wish to gain employability skills and confidence, with professionals and manager from the LGBT Pride Network in American Express who wish to share their experience.
Other LGBTQ+ support services
Mind Out is a Brighton based mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people with experience of mental health issues. They provide;
- Advice and information on a range of different areas, including mental health services, GP services, housing and homelessness, welfare rights, LGBTQ rights, support for addictions, counselling services, treatments, mental health law, Trans care pathways, community safety, immigration and asylum, relationship issues and many other things.
- A professional and independent advocacy service, including mental health and urgent need advocacy.
- Peer support groups run by experienced LGBTQ group facilitators. Current groups include groups for women; people who are 50+; people of colour (PoC); LGBTQ people with experience of suicidal thoughts; men with experience of suicidal thoughts; and people juggling work with their mental health and wellbeing.
- Peer mentoring, which links up individuals with a trained volunteer peer mentor who can help with developing new skills, exploring areas of interest, improving social connections and trying new things.
- A 50+ wellbeing project which aims to respond to the support needs of people over 50, reduce social isolation often experienced by older LGBTQ people and develop intergenerational activities for older and younger people to meet, learn and support one another.
- Suicide prevention support
- An online instant message support service that is confidential, non-judgemental and anonymous.
- Face-to-face, online and telephone counselling from a diverse team of LGBTQ counsellors.
- A telephone befriending service to LGBTQ people experiencing loneliness and isolation.
The Rainbow Hub in Brighton is a new space in Saint James’s Street, which is a local point of contact for LGBT+ people seeking up to date help, information or guidance, in a safe, non-judgemental environment. Volunteers provide a welcoming drop-in space to help individuals and where necessary refer them on to one or more of their extensive network of partner organisations for further support.
Navigate Brighton is a peer support group for transgender, non-binary and intersex people on the Trans-masculine spectrum.
The Clare Project is a transgender support and social group based in Brighton and Hove open to anyone wishing to explore issues around gender identity.
Rainbow Families is an informal social organisation in Brighton providing opportunities for LGBTQ+ parents, their children and prospective parents to gain local support, advice and information from other LGBTQ+ families.
Allsorts Youth Project is based in Brighton and Hove and provides specialist services directly to LGBT+ children & young people (ages 5-25) such as group activities and one-to-one support.