Topics for this month:
It’s Pride Month in the UK
Which marks the celebration of and focus on LGBTQ+ communities. It is also an important time to shed light on the difficult everyday situations which many young people who are exploring their sexuality or who identify as LGBTQ+ find themselves in.
According to the NSPCC, children and young people in the LGBTQ+ Community may ‘experience homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying or hate crime’. In addition, children and young people who are discovering their sexual identity may be more at risk of grooming and being encouraged to take part in underage sexual exploration.
Education is key. Understanding the context of their lives and lived experiences empowers us all with a greater level of understanding on how we can protect and support them. We have gathered some key statistics from national reports to illustrate the lived experiences of children and young people who identify as LGBTQ+.
4 in 5 transgender young people (84%) have self-harmed
Young people who identify as transgender are subject to sustained bullying in schools, with 46% ‘frequently’ or ‘often’ hearing negative comments about trans people and their gender identity or experiencing physical violence. 45% of trans young people have attempted to take their own life. Recent findings suggest 68% of young people who identify as LGBTQ+ have also experienced suicidal feelings, compared to 29% of non–LGBTQ+ peers.
At least 2 in 5 young people who identify as LGBTQ+ have experienced a hate incident
These include verbal harassment, intimidation, and physical or sexual violence. More than nine in ten of the most serious incidents are unreported, often because “it happens all the time.”
45% of LGBTQ pupils in the UK are bullied at school
Less than a third of bullied LGBTQ+ pupils say teachers intervened during bullying. Seven in 10 LGBTQ+ pupils (68%) report that teachers or staff only ‘sometimes’ or ‘never’ challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) language when they hear it. Those entrusted with safeguarding children and young people should take the lead in tackling HBT. This would promote inclusivity and acceptance within schools and helps young people who are exploring their sexuality and / or those who identify as LGBTQ+ feel protected by those in positions of power.
Whilst children and young people of the LGBTQ+ Community may face different adversities, it is possible to help mitigate these by providing support and understanding. Research has shown that acceptance and support from peers and family help provide protective factors against depression, drug misuse and self-harm amongst the LGBTQ+ youth. Support, such as family affirmation, can have incredibly positive effects on self-esteem, general wellness, and acts as a ‘buffer’ against poor mental health.
The importance of representation cannot be understated. 52% of LGBTQ+ pupils reported that seeing other members of the LGBTQ+ community makes the most positive difference in their daily lives.
How can you support a child or young person in the LGBTQ+ community?
- Create a safe environment in which children and young people feel they can talk about their gender or sexual identity. Never force the conversation!
- Affirm the conversation: Always thank your young person for talking with you, opening up and being honest. This may also be a good opportunity to remind how much you love them.
- Active listening: Take the time to stop, listen and acknowledge what they are trying to tell you.
- Acknowledge you won’t always get it right. We all make mistakes, when we do it’s important to own it and apologise; It’s okay – we all make them! For example, if you accidently use the wrong word or phrase, don’t panic. Correct yourself and apologise. This can help your young person understand that you are listening and trying to support them.
- Find age-appropriate resources. The danger of leaving young people to find their own resources is that they may encounter harmful or age-inappropriate content online, sometimes of a sexual nature.
- Trusted Adults – Talk to your young person about who their team of trusted adults are and who they can talk to, if they don’t feel comfortable taking to you.
- Don’t make assumptions. Young people may not disclose mental health issues, bullying or abuse in fear that their sexual or gender identity will be blamed.
- Seek out support for yourself! It’s okay if you need extra support as a parent or carer. There are multiple online and in person resources, including organisation specifically for parents and carers of LGBTQ+ people. We have outlined some of these in our Signposting and Further Resources section below.
Activitylearning packs that aims to help educate you a bit more about the experiences of individuals who identify as LGBTQ+🏳️🌈 can be found here SSZM-Pride-Pack-22_Update_v2.pdf (ineqe.com) SSZM-Pride-Learning-Support-Pack-22_Update.pdf (ineqe.com)
- NSPCC Helpline
- NSPCC Resources
- The Be you Project
- Young Minds
- Mind Out
- (For Parents/ Caregivers ) FFLAG
- Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide
Here comes the sun, remember how to keep safe…
- Who doesn’t love the feel of those first rays of sunshine on your skin, but sometimes this doesn’t go as smoothly as planned? When summer sets in, so too does the heat, with high UV rays, that can be very damaging to your skin if you do not take the right precautions.
- Whatever your summer plans and with the expected hot weather over the coming months, do not forget how important sun protection is for you and your skin!
- As well as more serious health risks, too much sun can damage your skin’s moisture barrier, leading to lost elasticity, dryness, prickly skin irritation and even premature ageing. It doesn’t have to feel hot for your skin to feel the sun’s damaging effects: rays can reach through glass, so do not forget the suitable SPF for when you are exposed to the sun. After sun’ lotion can help sunburnt skin feel better, but it can’t repair any DNA damage!
- Too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or sunbeds can damage DNA in your skin cells and cause skin cancer. The best way to enjoy the sun safely and protect your skin, is to plan time out in the shade, use protective clothing and sunscreen. The sun is strongest in the UK between 11am and 3pm from March to October.
When buying sunscreen, the label should have:
- a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to protect against UVB
- at least 4-star UVA protection
- take extra care with children (SPF) 50
In the UK almost 9 in 10 cases of melanoma skin cancer could be prevented by staying safe in the sun and avoiding sunbeds.
- Getting sunburnt just once every two years can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer, compared to never being burnt.
- Melanoma skin cancercan grow down through the layers of the skin and spread to other parts of the body.
- Remember, when skin cancer is found at an early stage, treatment is more likely to be successful. If you have noticed any unusual changes to your skin, including a mark or mole that’s new, has changed or been there for a while, speak to your doctor.
Sun and Vitamin D
- On a positive Vitamin production from the sun is one of the most well-known health benefits activated by sunlight exposure. Such as for our skeletal, cardiovascular, neurological, and immune systems. Vitamin D also fights to protect against disease, improves physical performance and also improves our well-being & mental health.
- -The amount of time you need in the sun to make enough vitamin D in the UK depends on your skin type and the time of day or year.
- -Many people don’t realise they don’t need to sunbathe for long, to get enough vitamin D the body needs. Most people in the UK can make enough by spending short spaced-out periods of time in the sun for example 10-20 minutes.
- It is also very important to remember that skin damage does not only happen on holiday or in hot, sunny places. The sun is often strong enough to cause damage in the UK, even when it’s cloudy. To help us make vitamin D for healthy bones, it’s more about minutes rather than hours.
- Whilst we all need some sun, and the benefits it brings we must keep in mind the dangers it brings too…
- For more information, please see the links below-
More Sun Safety….
- The Teenage Cancer Trust found that nearly two-thirds (61%) of young people aged 13-24 have avoided using sunscreen in order to get a better tan. As the weather gets hotter in the UK, we need to be more knowledgeable about keeping safe in the sun than ever before.
- The damage done to young skin can lead to skin cancer developing in later life, so it’s vital to help young people protect themselves in the sun.
Teenage Cancer Trust Resources
- Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun (CBeebies)
- Sun safety in schools (Skcin)
World Wellbeing Week: 27th June – 1st July
What is World Wellbeing Week?
- Now in its fourth year, World Wellbeing Week returns in June 2022 to provide the opportunity for participants worldwide to celebrate the many aspects of wellbeing, from meaningful, purposeful work to financial security, physical, mental and emotional health, social resilience and empathic corporate and civic leadership, community relations and care for the environment. Wellbeing has never been so important to our lives and livelihoods.
- The pandemic has revealed a capacity for change, never before thought possible, with people adapting mentally and physically all over the world. It has brought with it different ways of thinking and a new-found resilience. The word on everyone’s lips has been: ‘wellbeing’.
- World Wellbeing Week 2022 will celebrate these universal achievements when the world came together as one.
- How to take care of your wellbeing:
- We have included a link to a poster from Mind Charity below, which outlines methods you can take care of your wellbeing, from keeping yourself physically active, getting enough sleep, talking about the way you feel, setting yourself a challenge, and many more.
- Every Mind Matters also outlines on their website “Top tips to improve your mental wellbeing” to find out more please visit:
Click here for Mental wellbeing advice and support
Do Summer Safely campaign.
The UK’s Counter Terrorism Policing HQ has launched its Summer Vigilance campaign. The campaign aims to encourage the public to report anything that ‘doesn’t feel right’ and to ‘trust their instincts’.
A range of promotional material has been produced to reach people celebrating some of this summer’s big events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Women’s Euros, Commonwealth Games and other sporting, stadium and large events. This campaign complements the recently unveiled #BeSafeBeSound campaign which offers the same key messages for festivals and music events.
The purpose of this campaign is to:
- Make the public aware of how we can all play our part in defeating terrorism
- Increase confidence in reporting something which doesn’t feel right and how to report.
- Encourage event organisers, staff and security to take action themselves to support the CT effort, and prepare should they need to respond to a terrorist attack.
For more information about the campaign, please visit: https://www.protectuk.police.uk/news-views/do-summer-safely-ctphq-launch-summer-vigilance-campaign
New Instagram and Meta Quest VR parental controls.
This month, Instagram will be making new parental supervision tools available for users in the UK. These are becoming available for the Instagram platform as well as the Meta Quest VR headsets. These features will allow parents to have more supervision over their child’s online activity, as well as provide options to set screen time limits and have more awareness when something is reported online by their teen.
Instagram Supervision Tools
Announced several months ago, the new parental tools for Instagram are looking to include the supervision option, which needs to be approved, by both the parent and the teen before features are made available. This option can also be switched off at any time. Once activated, parents will have the ability to:
- See how much time their teen spends on Instagram
- Be aware of who their teen follows and who follows them in return
- Receive notifications about when their teen reports someone on Instagram, information about the person who was reported and the type of report that was made.
- Set specific times when parents would like to limit their child’s screen time.
As part of the new features, teens will soon receive a notification (or nudge) that will encourage them to switch to a different topic if they are looking at something on Instagram consistently. This is not reserved for particular topics, but is there to allow teens to discover new things on the platform.
Meta VR Supervision Tools
Parental supervision tools are also being made available on the Quest VR headsets. For these new supervision features to be made available, teens will need to initiate the process with acceptance from both parent and teen to link accounts. Once approved, parents will be able to:
- Block and approve purchases on apps that are not age appropriate
- Block specific apps that may be inappropriate and have awareness on all apps that are owned
- Receive notifications when a purchase is made in VR
- See how much screen time their teen has had in VR
- See their friends list
For more information on these parental controls, please visit: https://familycenter.instagram.com/