LGBTQ+ self-management in child and youth mental health


Recent evidence shows that one in three young people in the United Kingdom who identify as LGBTQ+ will have a mental health disorder (NHS Digital, 2018). 

LGBTQ+ young people may choose to self-manage their mental health, yet little is known about the barriers and facilitators to their self-management, how LGBTQ+ self-management may interact with outness and minority stress, and the effect that self-management may have on anxiety and depression for LGBTQ+ young people.

This PhD project is investigating how LGBTQ+ self-manage their mental health. The findings from this project may have implications for policy and interventions affecting LGBTQ+ young people in the United Kingdom.


Rosa Town has published a paper in European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry detailing the findings of the first empirical study of this PhD: A qualitative investigation of LGBTQ+ young people’s experiences and perceptions of self-managing their mental health.

She has also published a protocol for a scoping review in JBI Evidence Synthesis: Self-management, self-care, and self-help in adolescents with emotional problems: a scoping review protocol.

Rosa has presented her findings at several conferences and events, including the National LGBTQ Health Conference 2021, t​he Qualitative Research on Mental Health Conference 2021, the International Association For Youth Mental Health Conferences 2019 and 2022, and the 2021 Barts and Queen Mary Science Festival which focused on engaging research with older secondary school pupils.

Rosa's poster 'LGBTQ+ young people’s experiences and perceptions of self-managing their mental health' was sent to participating schools to start interesting and engaging discussions around the issues that may affect older school students and their peers. You can view Rosa's poster here

On 16 November 2022, Rosa hosted a community event on LGBTQ+ Young People’s Emotional Health Self-Management. The event, hosted at Queer Britain in King’s Cross, explored emotional health self-management amongst LGBTQ+ young people in London. Read more about the event here.

A series of videos have been co-produced using footage from the event, where young people share their experiences of emotional health self-management to suppot other LGBTQ+ young people across the UK. View the videos here.

This research will inform a contribution to recently approved work by the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST) on “Factors shaping gender incongruence and gender dysphoria, and impacts for health services”, which has the potential for future policy impact.

Partners & Collaborators


Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

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