A digital youth work programme, delivered by LGBT Youth Scotland using Discord, has had a major impact on young people, according to a recent study.

Overall, 9 out of 10 young people participating in Pride and Pixels felt an increased amount of connection, which was thought to have been crucial after previous studies suggested that lockdown could potentially trigger a mental health crisis for the young LGBTI community.

Find out more and read the full report.

One young participant, aged 19, spoke of the potentially life-saving impact the service had on their mental health and wellbeing: “Without LGBT Youth Scotland, lockdown would have been horrible…Getting support from youth workers has helped a lot, my mental health would have been in a much worse state than it is now, and I am not sure I’d be safe or alive right now.”

LGBT Youth Scotland’s Head of Youth Work Nicola Booth said: “Our team has worked hard to ensure that LGBTI young people received consistent support during lockdown and beyond, and this research has really shown the value of our approach. For us this is just the first step and we are continuing this work to ensure that LGBTI young people get the support they need and want as Scotland recovers from the pandemic.”

Dr Amy Calder, Senior Policy & Research Officer at national youth agency YouthLink Scotland, commented: “The move to digital youth work in the aftermath of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions presented a huge challenge for the youth work sector, but research like this demonstrates just how vital, potentially life-saving, these online services can be.