It Gets Better Canada, with support from the Canadian Red Cross, has launched a comprehensive mental health hub, looking to help tackle the mental health challenges facing LGBTQ+ youth.
The mental health hub was developed during the Covid 19 pandemic amid a rise in mental health concerns among LGBTQ+ young people who had suddenly been isolated from peer support networks. It takes It Gets Better’s unique brand of youth led storytelling and parlays it into an immersive hub complete with resources, tools and skills needed to affirm identity and live authentically.
Inside the hub, LGBTQ+ youth will find explainer videos, highlighting everything from the importance of “chosen family” and “self-care” to navigating feelings of “gender invalidation.”
The hub also features testimonials from LGBTQ+ youth, toolkits for navigating everyday triggers and stressors, and It Gets Better Canada’s first podcast, “Our Pride Our Stories.”
“We still have a lot of unpacking to do, when addressing and recognizing the long-term mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for LGBTQ+ youth,” Omid Razavi, Executive Director for It Gets Better Canada, said. “Our hub was created based on consultations with queer youth nationwide, as they highlighted resources, topics and conversations that they are passionate about engaging with in a post-quarantine world. Through our youth led and developed content, we are thrilled to be releasing a whole series of new affirming materials to inspire.”
Access to mental health care that centers LGBTQ+ identities is a major concern for youth — in the United States, one of the It Gets Better Project’s Youth Voices ambassadors, Fabi, even spoke about the difficulties she had identifying affordable care tailored to her needs with NBC News. The Youth Voices have created zines and written blog posts about mental health, and even played a role in helping to develop imi, a U.S. based digital mental health resource created by Hopelab.
The Covid-19 Mental Health Hub was made possible with the financial support of the Canadian Red Cross and the Public Health Agency of Canada.