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JAN'S NEWS AND BLOG

See below for Jan's news and blog.

LGBT HISTORY MONTH PRE-LAUNCH EVENT

20th November 2014

Well, the launch went very well. The venue was splendid: The Museum of the Order of St John, Clerkenwell. I'm guessing there were about 200 plus people attended.

I thought the presentation by Sadie Lee on Frida Kahlo excellent, as was the one on Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont by Clare Barlow.

There were some good acts, such as the Diversity Choir and a poignant extract from the play 'For The Trumpets Shall Sound'.

Not sure when the flyers for the four Faces of '15 Coded Lives will be available, but here is the Anne Lister Presentation I gave.

OFFICE OF THE CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONER: GENDER EQUALITY PROJECT

12th November 2014

The Office of the Children's Commission Gender Equality Project will work with young people to design and implement a programme of qualitative research and dialogue which examines what gender means in practice for children and young people.

The Commission have set up an Advisory Group of which I have been invited to become a member.

The first meeting is to be held on 24th November in London, at which we will learn more about what children and young people and other organisations have told the Commissioner about this topic.

We will be looking at the research objectives and methods; young people will be involved.

The research will explore gender through the experiences and views of children and young people aged 9 - 15 years.

The ultimate aim of the research is to reduce gender inequalities in the extent to which children in England realise their rights in relation to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children.

I am hoping there will be an expert on trans issues (I have already raised this) and I know there is another expert on research with LGBT young people.

If anyone with experience of working with LGBT young people has any points they would like to raise, please email me on hello@galyic.org.uk and I will do my best to incorporate them. Remember, it is specifically about gender with regard to children and young people aged 9-15 years.

I am particularly interested in hearing about the gender issues facing those young LGBT people who often slip through the net, those in more isolated area - smaller towns, villages and rural areas where there usually is no support available; and those who are multi-oppressed through class, race, ethnicity, disability, religion and, of course, gender.

QUEER FUTURES NORTHERN YOUTH WORKERS CONSULTATION

6th November 2014

Queer Futures is a two-year research project run by Lancaster University to try to understand why LGBTQ young people do risky things, harm themselves or think about suicide. It is hoped the results of the project will make it easier to find ways to help young LGBTQ people in distress.

The project will be interviewing young LGBTQ people and conducting an on-line survey.

During interviews researchers have found that distressed LGBTQ youth may have difficulties accessing mainstream mental health services and, in many cases, LGBTQ youth groups are doing both suicidal crisis work and implementing prevention strategies.

It is likely that the expertise of those working with such a vulnerable group will be very important to the future development of interventions to prevent distress, self-harm and suicide.

In response to this two consultation meetings have been set up, one in London and one in Manchester. I will be attending the one in Manchester on Friday, 21st November at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation.

LGBT HISTORY MONTH PRE-LAUNCH EVENT

6th November 2014

Next year's theme for LGBT History Month (February) is Faces of '15: Coded Lives.

Four flyers have been written to celebrate Anne Lister, Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams, Frida Kahlo and The Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont.

They will be published at the Prelaunch event on Tuesday 18th November to be held at The Museum of The Order of St John, Clerkenwell, London, 6-9 p.m.

I have written the one for Anne Lister and will be giving a ten minute presentation at the launch event.

In the afternoon there will be free workshops for youth workers and another for teachers.

For more information see LGBT History Month.

CHILDREN'S AND ADOLESCENT'S MENTAL HEALTH AND CAMHS

5th November 2014

In the House of Commons Health Committee's report, Children's and adolescent's mental health and CAMHS published 5th November 2014, LGBT young people are mentioned as a vulnerable group (pages 12, 46, 51, 100 and reference is made to submissions by Jan Bridget and Metro.

The recommendations are that the new Department of Health/NHS England taskforce, whose task is to overhaul the way CAMHS is commissioned and to ensure young people are offered the most appropriate care both in the community and hospital, "takes full account of the submissions we have received, and the wealth of information they contain." This is specifically mentioned with regard to vulnerable groups.

It remains to be seen whether this taskforce, which does not appear to have representation from a specialist LGBT expert, will take on board the issues raised in the two submissions.

WORLDPRIDE TORONTO HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE 2014

5th June 2014

We know that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people are highly vulnerable to a range of issues including mental health (self-harm and suicide), substance misuse, sexual health issues, homelessness, and this is usually the result of bullying, abuse, isolation, parental rejection.

I believe that, in order to reduce this vulnerability, when a young LGBTQ person accesses a service, the providers have a duty to comprehensively assess their needs in a holistic and empowering way.

I realised how important it was to develop a screening tool back in 2000 when one of the first members of my youth group died from a heroin overdose.

As result I developed the Needs Assessment Tool (or NAT), which I used, developed and improved, over the 13 years I ran Gay and Lesbian Youth in Calderdale (1999-2012).

The NAT is wide-ranging and covers everything from coming out, bullying, substance misuse, sexual health, mental health, homelessness, to emotional abuse, etc.

Working with the young person, using the results of the NAT, together we would develop an action plan. This could include, for example, referral for counselling, a sexual health check-up, access to housing, and so on.

This method enabled young people to understand whether and how they were vulnerable, why they were vulnerable and have control over what to do about it.

After six months an Impact Assessment (IMP) would take place to review progress. The report would enable me, and the young person, to see the journey the young person had taken and identify improvements made and any further action needed.

This method of comprehensively assessing the needs of LGBTQ young people was identified as an example of good practice in research by the London-based, LGBT mental health organisation, PACE (Where to Turn, 2010).

Just in itself, the NATnIMP can be a life saver. But there are significant added benefits, not least that after, say, 20 NATs, a consolidated report can be requested to show what percentage of young people have, for example, attempted suicide, smoke, misuse alcohol, etc.

This data can then be used to access funding (we were successful in a BBC Children in Need funding bid using this method). The combined NATnIMP also provide hard evidence of the success of interventions, again extremely useful when reporting back to funders.

I will be discussing the NATnIMP at the WorldPride Human Rights Conference in Toronto on 27th June 2014 and encouraging other agencies world-wide to utilise this, or other similar screening methods, when working with LGBTQ young people.

I am delighted to have been chosen to make a presentation as nearly 400 applicants from almost 60 countries applied for such a privilege.

Here is a link to my presentation: "Assessing the Needs of LGBTQ Youth" Jan Bridget