Past project

Universal School Interventions

Improving the mental health of young LGBTQ+ people

Project overview

The McPin Young People’s Network has teamed up with a researcher at UCL who is doing some research about young LGBTQ+ people’s mental health. 

This project aims to find out how universal school interventions can improve their mental health. An intervention is an action taken to improve something. Universal school interventions are things that are put in place for everyone in a school.  

These interventions are not just targeted at LGBTQ+ young people – they are aimed at encouraging people in the whole school to be more accepting of diverse sexual and gender identities. 

Examples of these interventions could include school-wide LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination and bullying policies, inclusive curriculums and video campaigns. This project will do some research into what interventions already exist in schools and how and who they work for by carrying out a literature review. 

This is part of the Wellcome Trust Active Ingredients commissions of 2021. 

Project details

Research has shown that young LGBTQ+ people are more likely to experience depression and anxiety than their heterosexual and cisgender peers.  

In schools, LGBTQ+ students are also more likely to experience bullying, discrimination, unsafety, exclusion and marginalisation, all of which are can increase someone’s chances of having depression and anxiety. 

During a previous project that members of the McPin Young People’s Network were involved with, they found school environments which are inclusive and accepting of diverse sexual and gender identities can be good for the mental health of LGBTQ+ young people.  

Therefore, this research could answer questions about what makes these interventions work so well and how to make them even better.  

In the long term, it could help prevent the mental health problems that some LGBTQ+ people experience. 

We ran the lived experience involvement in the project, working with a Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) who advised on the project, drawing from their lived experiences to shape the project and providing critical feedback. 

As well as the input of the YPAG, a young co-researcher worked alongside the research team to support the literature review. 

In collaboration with the young advisors, the research team created a series of outputs for this project, including an infographic and video 

For more information about the public involvement within this project, please email [email protected] 

Download the infographic
Watch the Wellcome Trust video on social Inclusion

Project resources


How can we improve school life for LGBTQ+ young people?

An infographic based on the Universal School Interventions project, from conversations with schools, young people and governors about how to make school better for LGBTQ+ young people
LGBTQ+ • Young people | 21st February 2023

Work with us

We are always excited to hear from others who want to collaborate on mental health research. From delivering peer research to helping you with public involvement strategies and providing training, get in touch to chat.