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The Internet and Rainbow Young People

How can online resources better support wellbeing?

Many LGBQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning +) young people can experience challenges that other young people don’t (e.g. mistreatment for being different). We are interested in taking practical steps to help make things better for LGBQ+ young people. We are a small group of researchers, and the person coordinating the study (Dr Mathijs Lucassen) previously co-designed a self-help tool (Rainbow SPARX) for LGBQ+ young people who were stressed and low, and Mathijs evaluated Rainbow SPARX with LGBQ+ young people in New Zealand. Watch this brief intro to SPARX here:

Feeling down, worried or stressed? Take control with SPARX!

SPARX is an online program designed to help young people cope with feeling down, worried or stressed. SPARX can help you cope with those thoughts and feelings…

We would like to hear what UK-based LGBQ+ young people have to say about online help, as online is where many LGBQ+ young people get support. We would also like to hear from LGBQ+ stakeholders (e.g. LGBQ+ youth workers), practitioners working to support LGBQ+ wellbeing, and parents of LGBQ+ young people.

We are geographically based in South East England, but would really value having participants from across the UK for this project. We are looking for LGBQ+ young people (and others) to talk about the internet and how it can help them feel good about themselves. We also want to hear what LGBQ+ young people (and others) in the UK have to say about a type of online self-help (i.e. Rainbow SPARX). We would come to you.

Participants required:

Young people
If you are aged 12 to 19, and you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or are questioning your sexuality, or you aren’t straight (including gender diverse young people who do not identify as being straight), you could:
• Participate in a focus group (e.g. with young people from your existing LGBQ+ group/s); or,
• Take part in an interview with your parent/caregiver (with two researchers).

Adults
We are looking for LGBQ+ stakeholders (e.g. LGBQ+ youth workers), practitioners working to support LGBQ+ wellbeing, and parents of LGBQ+ young people that can participate in interviews. For parents, these interviews can be jointly with a LGBQ+ young person.

As a small thank you, participants will be offered a £20 gift voucher (there is a small token for the LGBQ+ charity hosting interviews and focus groups too).

The study has been funded by the Health PRA at The Open University and ethics has been obtained (Open University HREC-2017-2507-Lucassen).

If you would like to know more, would like to see the related peer-reviewed papers, or even just want to chat, please contact Mathijs [ma-tace] directly at mathijs.lucassen@open.ac.uk

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