Manchester Pride is a charity with LGBTQ+ communities at the heart of everything we do. Our vision is a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to live and love without prejudice and we are committed to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester and beyond.
The Manchester Pride Charity has four big goals - one of which is to raise awareness of, and support for, the mental health of LGBTQ+ people. We do this by celebrating cultural activities for, by and with LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester, therefore increasing levels of social engagement and wellbeing within our communities. We also work with organisations to improve the mental health of LGBTQ+ people.
Youth Pride MCR
Youth Pride MCR is a project by Manchester Pride which aims to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ young people and their allies.
"I've loved meeting new people and feeling included, coming from a small village there isn’t many LGBTQ+ people or activities. Youth Pride has helped me make new friends and feel less lonely.” - Youth Pride attendee
We facilitate fun and educational workshops in safe and accessible spaces, providing young queer people aged 14-18 with opportunities to have fun and connect with like-minded individuals across the city. Youth Pride Workshops help tackle loneliness and isolation in queer young people and encourage members to develop new and existing skills, make new friends, and explore diverse identities in a safe, supportive and nourishing environment. Find out more about Youth Pride MCR and how to get involved.
Mental health and wellbeing tips from Manchester Pride
- Keeping in touch with your support network is vital. Whether it’s colleagues, friends, family (biological or chosen) or indeed an online community you are part of, maintaining social contact has been shown to improve your mental health. If you don’t have a support network to communicate with, you can reach out to Switchboard LGBT and do remember that you're not alone.
- Here at Manchester Pride we are big fans of social media, but appreciate that at times, it can get a little chaotic. If you want to catch up on the news, make sure you are getting it from reliable and reputable sources. If you feel like social media is exacerbating any feelings of distress you may be experiencing, consider taking a break and listening to a podcast, music, reading a book or watching a movie that makes you happy.
- If you are struggling with stress, depression, or anxiety, writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you to understand them more clearly. Journalling can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health. If you don’t have access to a paper journal, you can always use an app. Mental health apps like headspace, the notes app on your phone, or even voice notes on your phone or a computer are really handy.
- The pandemic has meant that some of us are now adjusting to new ways of living and working. Whilst working from home might work well for some, that's not always the case. Many of us are spending more time indoors, meaning it can be easy to fall into unhealthy habits. It’s important to maintain structure to the day, so making sure you stick to a schedule for meal times and bedtime can help you to stay on track. Setting goals can also help keep you motivated and stop you feeling down, as can ensuring you have a shower and getting dressed every morning. Getting out for some fresh air during the day can help to split your day up and reduce built up feelings of overwhelm. Try taking a walk and noticing the things you can hear, see, smell, feel, and taste. Mindfulness and grounding exercises are brilliant for helping you stay present.
- When we're experiencing poor mental health, keeping up with personal hygiene can be difficult. If you're going through a period of poor mental health and aren't able to look after yourself in the way that you'd like, we'd suggest keeping some baby wipes handy to maintain cleanliness when showering isn't accessible to you and perhaps some dry shampoo for the days where you'd like a refresh. Chewable toothpaste tabs and mouthwashes are your best friend, and if you're having an especially bad day, try some gentle stretches and drinking a large glass of water - your body will thank you for it.
- Taking care of your mind and body is hugely important. Some great ways to do this when we’re feeling overwhelmed is by practicing meditation, mindfulness and yoga. There are lots of great resources online to help you relax your mind if you’re feeling anxious (our favourite is the Headspace app), and you can find yoga tutorials for all different abilities on Youtube, helping to keep you calm and alleviate stress. Taking a cold shower can also be great for your mind and body - try switching the water to a cooler temperature temporarily for an invigorating boost.
Mental health resources you may find useful: Tips and advice on how to look after your mental health
- If yoga or meditation is not your thing, the NHS have some great 10-minute workouts you can do from the comfort of your home to help reset your mind and keep your body energised and active. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, and make sure you warm up before, and stretch after your workout.
NHS Mental Health support if you're lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans (LGBTQ+)A directory of online therapists working with LGBTQ+ people from Pink Therapy
NHS Home Workout videos
Mental health apps you may find helpful:
Cultivate a healthier, happier, more well-rested life in just a few minutes a day with the Headspace app.Calm
A brilliant app for better sleep, lower stress, and less anxiety with lots of free content.Breathwrk
A simple yet powerful tool featuring breathing exercises to help alleviate anxiety, increase energy, improve focus, and help you fall asleep.Fabulous
A Manchester Pride favourite! Fabulous is a daily planner and self-care habit tracking app that helps you build better habits and achieve your goals.Thought Diary
Thought Diary is a fantastic free mood journal and thought record based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).Daylio
Daylio is a self-care bullet journal with goals, a mood diary and happiness tracker. Keep a diary and capture your day without writing down a single word!
LGBTQ+ Mental Health & Wellbeing Support Services
We recognise that statistically LGBTQ+ people are at much higher risk of experiencing poor mental health, and are often faced with additional difficulties accessing mental health services and support. Thankfully, there are many incredible local and national organisations operating to ensure the wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people.Rainbow Mind
is a collaborative project between Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest (Mind CHWF), and Mind in Salford
, providing a service aimed at tackling mental health issues for individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. Switchboard
provides information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay, bisexual and trans people – and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity. Switchboard LGBT listens to LGBT+ people, providing a lifeline and calm words to those who need them. You can get in touch on the phone, by email or through Instant Messaging. The helpline number is 0300 330 0630.Colours Youth Network
uplifts, empowers and supports young people of colour who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex (QTIPOC) aged 16-25, and encourages them to explore and celebrate who they are through meaningful connections to other young people and a team of experienced QTIPOC youth workers.Mermaids
provide a helpline and web chat service aimed at supporting transgender and gender-diverse young people up to and including the age of 19, their families, and professionals working with them. You can speak to a trained member of the Mermaids team on 0808 801 0400, Monday - Friday; 9am - 9pm. Consortium
is a membership organisation that works to support LGBTQ+ organisations and projects around the country. Use the site's Member's Directory
to find local mental health services.Mind Out
is a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people that works to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all LGBTQ+ communities, and to make mental health a community concern.LGBT Foundation
provides a wide range of support services to lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and + people. Their helpline is open on 0345 3 30 30 30, 9am-9pm weekdays.Gendered Intelligence
are a trans-led charity that works to increase understandings of gender diversity and improve the lives of trans and non-binary people.Imaan
is a charity that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) Muslims, providing an online forum where people can share experiences and ask for help.The Proud Trust
is a life saving and life enhancing organisation. They help LGBTQ+ young people to make a positive change for themselves, and their communities through empowerment. The Proud Trust offers a 'Proud Connections' instant messaging service, open 12pm – 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.Mindline Trans +
is an emotional and mental health support helpline for anyone identifying as transgender, non-binary or gender fluid. Their helpline is open Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays from 8pm - midnight on: 0300 330 5468. Micro Rainbow
runs safe houses dedicated solely to LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees. There are several ways to get in touch with Micro Rainbow, and its services such as its helpline is open for those in need of assistance.akt
supports LGBTQ+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile or abusive environment. If you are a young person, you can refer yourself to akt's services via their website. The Beaumont Society
is a national self help body run by and for the transgender community. They work to support trans and non-binary people with their partners and families, as well as advising and training on transgender issues. Regard
is a national organisation of lesbians, gay, bisexuals, transgender and queer people who self-identify as disabled. It has created guides for disabled and older people which feature really helpful advice for food shopping and how to cope with isolation.Mind LGBTQ
provides information about mental health support for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, non-binary, queer or questioning.George House Trust
provides services to people living with, and affected by, HIV. If you are in need of support, advice or information and would like to speak to someone, George House Trust run a Telephone Buddy Service. The buddy service is a 1 to 1 service for in-person and telephone appointments, and more.R U Coming Out
provides information and resources for people coming out and those who want to learn more about sexuality. There is no right or wrong way to come out, but reading about other people’s experiences can help. Check out their resources, tips & advice on coming out
Society aspires to provide a safe space for queer, trans and Intersex people of colour (QTIPOC) and represent all minorities within the community.