Frequently asked questions

Will my counsellor tell my parents?

No – it’s your choice. What you talk about to your counsellor or clinician is confidential. The only time they might have to say anything is if they’re worried about your safety or someone else’s safety.

Here’s what some young people had to say on this topic:

“When I was talking to my counsellor about me coming out, what I told her she didn’t say any of it to my mum – it was completely confidential and nothing went out of the room.”

“The only time that the counselor had to tell my mum something was when I told the counsellor I was suicidal and that I had self-harmed. “

“After I spoke about my sexuality, I didn’t feel like I was being judged. If I said I didn’t want to talk about something I wouldn’t be forced into it.”

“After I told my clinician that I was bisexual I didn’t need to tell them not to tell my parents because they seemed to respect my decision to come out and it didn’t put any pressure to tell my parents so I could do it at my own pace’

What would CAMHS do if I told them I was…?

Theyre not going to judge you. If youd like any specific support you can ask them. Dont be afraid of telling a professional about yourself if you want to.

“When I came out to my clinician as gay, we were talking about how I came to know. I’d known for a while.  They encouraged me to speak about my feelings. They encouraged me to not be afraid of who I am and to accept that I am gay. The first person I told was my mum. I’ve learnt to accept that I am gay and not care if people judge me.”

How can I get involved in the LGBTQ+ Support and Action Youth Group?

Ask your clinician, our receptionist or email ben.shannahan@wlmht.nhs.uk

Will a clinician respect my choice of pronouns?

Yes they will but they will need you to tell them which pronouns you would like them to use. You may wish to use certain pronouns in some situations and not in others so it is good to talk with your clinician about this and what you would prefer. Here are a few comments from some young people about their experiences about this:

“I was desperately looking for a label – something I would fit into… if someone doesn’t respect your pronouns you shouldn’t be afraid to make them aware of this – bring it up and don’t let them get away with it. If you’re not happy with how people are referring to you do speak up.”

“I went into my first ever appointment at CAMHS as I had been referred for gender stuff and other issues. At the end when the clinician was talking to my mum he used the correct pronouns without making a big deal out of it. He wasn’t just saying what my mum wanted to hear and took my side. It was good to have this confirmation as I had only recently figured out my identity. The clinician was the first adult to use the right pronouns for me; my parents were not using them at this time.”

How did it go telling your parents?

“Don’t go in with preconceptions. Don’t feel pressure that this has to be the day. It is about you and not to do with anyone else. It’s about what’s gonna make you happy. I’m Indian and in traditional Sikh culture we believe that everyone has to be straight. It takes a lot of bravery…It takes a lot of courage to do it. It’s not easy to come out to a family that doesn’t support homosexuality.”

What did it mean to you to come out?

 ‘I’m gay and I’m happy about being gay. It’s not my fault if I like boys…It’s my preference’

‘My greatest achievement was being able to say it out loud. When it comes to coming out you win some and you lose some. What I felt mattered more to me than what others felt’

‘For me it felt like I was accepting who I was and how I am and it kind of made me feel more comfortable in myself when and when talking to friends

Do you have other questions?

Ask young people from our LGBTQ+ Support and Action Youth Group directly!

We have a team of young people who are our LGBTQ+ consultants who are ready to answer your questions.

Please allow about three weeks for us to get back to you. We will respond but it might take a little time. We might also bring your question to our group to discuss it before getting back to you.

Your name and contact details will remain anonymous – our young consultants will only be sent the question you are asking and not your name or contact details.

Send us your questions!

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This form is not for questions or concerns that need an urgent response. Making contact this way is not appropriate for emergency situations. In case of emergency please speak with a trusted adult or go to A&E at hospital – this is one of the fastest ways to get urgent help.

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