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Campaign launches to celebrate LGBTQ+ youth community in Hampshire

Hampshire CAMHS have launched their campaign to promote respect amongst the LGBTQ+ youth community. Picture credits: Hampshire CAMHS

A series of events and activities will take place across the county to celebrate the community this month (December, 2019).

The "RESPECT" project is being run by Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) - which is provided by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust - to promote respect, regardless of sexuality.

A number of events will be delivered, including free training for professionals working with children and young people, to raise awareness of mental health issues, self-harm and suicide.

On Friday, 6th December staff across Hampshire CAMHS and Sussex Partnership will take part in a 'Rainbow Day', where they will wear rainbow coloured clothing to show respect and make a £1 donation to an LGBTQ+ youth organisation.

Helen Dove, Innovation and Participation Lead for Hampshire CAMHS, said:

"Every year we look to run campaigns and various projects which focus on different issues and conditions.

"We know that those young people who identify as LGBTQ+ are more likely to have mental health difficulties, self-harm or seek to end their lives by suicide.

"We also know that young people sadly do not always feel confident in discussing these issues with CAMHS staff.

"This year we wanted to do something to help raise awareness and understanding of these issues and offer training and guidance to enable people to support the LGBTQ+ community of young people better, and most importantly seek to gain the trust of these young people.

"It has been reported that LGBTQ+ young people are more at risk of experiencing mental health difficulties, suicidal behaviours, and self-harming, which is thought to be due to a number of factors, including being discriminated against by others and feeling isolated.

"I really hope that the RESPECT project will help to start a positive conversation about LGTBQ+ young people, reduce stigma and help to show young people in Hampshire that we accept them for who they are."

The full list of events can be found at www.hampshirecamhs.nhs.uk.

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