Report

LGBTQ+ Young People’s Digital Peer Support for Mental Health

2023

LGBTQ+ Young People’s Digital Peer Support for Mental Health

10 months ago 10 months ago Published by
This report was published by the University of Technology Sydney.

HERE’S HOW THE AUTHORS DESCRIBE THIS REPORT:

This report presents findings from a national survey and interviews with LGBTQ+ young people, aged 16-25 years, about digital peer support for mental health. For this study, digital peer support comprises informal, digital, and social media engagement with friends and peers. Findings, drawn from the experiences of 674 young participants, demonstrate how LGBTQ+ young people support each other in ways that families, schools, and health practitioners cannot. This is not to suggest that formal and family-based support is unnecessary, but that informal digital support should be considered alongside these.

Taking a strengths-based approach to LGBTQ+ young people’s experiences, this study engages participants as digital peer support experts. Research that centres LGBTQ+ young people’s digital cultures can expand current understandings of their support needs and practices and enrich current healthcare practices, strategies, and policies. This report offers insight into what digital peer support means to LGBTQ+ young people and how mental health is negotiated – personally and collectively, through digital media. It offers new knowledge of where and how digital peer support is practiced, who is involved, and the value it adds to participants’ lives. These insights can inform future research and practice aiming to improve the mental health of LGBTQ+ communities.

Byron, P. (2023). LGBTQ+ Young People’s Digital Peer Support for Mental Health. University of Technology Sydney. https://apo.org.au/node/322739

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