Using the internet is a really good way to find out information quickly. For LGBT young people who are not ‘out’ this can be really useful so they are not seen picking up flyers or leaflets about LGBT services in their area. The internet is a useful portal to get the information that you need quickly and easily but it can also have its pitfalls.
Not all the information available online can be reliable, truthful or useful. It can even point you in the wrong direction or lead you up the wrong path or to a dead end. This is where we come in to make sure you get the information that you need.
All the content on our website is written by LGBT young people, reviewed by their peers, and other professionals and experts in their fields add in where to go from here. This means that you are reading information, advice and support written by young people who have been in the same situation and have found this useful to make positive choices about their lives.
If there is anything that you would like to add, contribute or re-write on our website, please type up what you would like to submit and send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch to see how we can get you to help out other young people across Scotland.
Some people think that Scotland is a really small place, but in fact it’s really big. From highlands and islands, to small villages, to sprawling urban city centres, Scotland has a really diverse landscape and accessing information and support can be different depending on where you are. Some young people might be isolated within a city the same way as someone in a rural or island community who needs support with LGBT issues.
One way to help LGBT young people access support is by text messaging on their mobile phones. LGBT Youth Scotland is one of a handful of youth services that provides this direct to your mobile phone. You can speak to a youth worker directly via text message by texting “info” and where you are to 07786 202 370. As there are only youth groups running in certain areas of Scotland, we can link in with youth services currently running where you are and make sure that you get the support you need.
Young people all over the world use social networking websites to stay in contact with their friends, make some new ones, have fun, and find out about what’s on in their area. We currently use Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
We use Facebook to post updates and links on our page, and staff have Facebook profiles to keep in touch with young people and to provide online support for when they can't make it along to youth groups. You can read more about our online support here.
We use YouTube to showcase video content that we have made for young people, including our contribution to the It Gets Better campaign. We will be uploading a range of our video resources over the next wee while, so why not subscribe today to see videos as soon as they're uploaded.
We use Twitter to post live updates about campaigns and events that we are taking part in so why not follow us to find out how you can get involved.
We are also on Instagram where will share pictures of what we are up to, infographics and more. Find us @lgbtys and you can tag us with #lgbtys
We have been working hard to build up a strong online community and would love for you to join us!
As a part of our advice and support work, sometimes we don’t have all the answers. This is when referrals are very important in our work.
Just because someone is LGB or T does not mean that they will only need support around LGBT issues. They might need support around housing, racism, faith/belief, bullying, mental/physical/sexual health, domestic abuse, child protection and every other issue that all young people can face.
We make and receive referrals to and from a wide range of organisations so we can make sure that you have a more people available to support you. When we make a referral, we ask you what support you are looking for, what information to share with others and how we should support you.
In the past, we have made referrals to social workers, council (local authority) youth services, housing agencies, mental health services and many more. We work closely with other organisations to make sure that everyone has the skills, knowledge and support to enhance their service response for LGBT young people.
It can be really scary and daunting for young people to come along to an LGBT youth group for the first time. Some people might have never heard that there was a group running two streets away, or might be too scared to walk through the door. To make sure that people know that we are here, we run outreach sessions in a range of different places.
We use social networking websites (e.g. Facebook) as a way to speak to young people all over Scotland. We also run face to face outreach sessions in a range of different places. This can be at school during personal/social education (PSE) classes, youth groups, at our events, on the ‘gay scene’, on the street, and at other events for young people all over Scotland.
All our outreach workers are fully trained youth workers who are available to give you advice and support, information about our work, and give you free resources like badges, stickers and pens. They’re easy to spot in their LGBT Youth Scotland T shirts and ID badges, and they’re always cheery to see folk who want to find out more about our work and how they can help us make Scotland a better place for LGBT young people.
Sometimes young people need a range of support from different people at different times.
We believe that you should be able to access this support when you need it so you can grow up happy and healthy. For young LGBT people, particular stages such as coming out can be very stressful and they will need a range of support from the right people. Young people have issues that they can find difficult and challenging, but LGBT young people in particular can be isolated and terrified about getting help and support if they are not 'out' or are worried about reactions from others.
We work with a range of organisations and services that can work alongside us in making sure that you are supported when you are growing up. This can be specialised services such as women's aid, health services, social services, youth groups, and the Police.
Our trained youth workers can arrange blocks of support meetings with young people where we will work alongside you to identify who would be best to help you through and go along with you to meetings with other organisations to make sure that you are ok and supported to get the help that you need.
Although we are yet to get LGBT groups and services up and running across all parts of Scotland, we can also provide support via the internet, email and text message. We will also see if we can work alongside appropriate local services in your area that can help you and arrange online support to see how you are getting on and if there is anything that we can help you with.
For more information about how we can support you, you can click on our live chat, email email@example.com or send a text to 07786 202 370 to speak to a youth worker.