LGBTQIA+ Support Services
Below you will find information and support services regarding mental health and sexual health for LGBTQIA+ people living in London:
London Friend is a London based organisation that provides mental health support for LGBTQIA+ individuals. Help they offer includes:
Support during lockdown
Services for domestic abuse survivors
Drug and alcohol abuse support
Sexual health information
Support for LGBT asylum seekers and refugees
Contact: 020 78331674
Office location: N19 DN 86 Caledonian Road.
The main page includes a calendar with LGBTQIA+ events, such as:
English classes for folk who want to better their English
LBT women’s social
Housing advice drop-in hours
Coming out groups for gay and bisexual men
Social support for lesbian and bisexual women
Switchboard is a confidential and trusted LGBTQIA+ helpline: https://switchboard.lgbt/
Call: 0300 330 0630
Open 10:00-22:00 every day
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (emails are typically replied to within 72 hours)
Pink Therapy comprises 19 Clinical Associates who have a gender, or sexual minority lived experience. It lists qualified therapists who work with the LGBTQIA+ community from a sexually affirmative stance throughout the UK. Please note that the therapists offer paid therapy. Each therapist sets their fees.
Their database lists several Polish-speaking therapists, some based in the UK and some living elsewhere, who run an online private practice.
Contact: 020 7434 0367
Metro charity has offices in Woolwich, New Cross, Greenwich and Essex. They provide health and wellbeing services for the LGBTQIA+ community in England. Their services include but are not limited to:
Emotional support for people living with HIV
HIV counselling and mentoring
Therapeutic support for families affected by HIV
Mental health support for LGBTQIA+ and BAME people
Support for LGBTQIA+ hate crime survivors
Free one-to-one therapy for LGBTQIA+ youth in London
Contact (mental health team): 020 8305 5009.
STONEWALL SEARCH ENGINE
If you want to further research organisations that offer mental health support to the LGBTQIA+ community in your area, you can use the Stonewall search engine: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/whats-my-area
If you need someone to talk to, Samaritans offer help regardless of your sexuality, gender, age, ethnicity and economic status. You can call them for free at any time of the day and night on 116 123 or send them an email* at email@example.com
*Please note that the response time is 24 hours.
SEXUAL HEALTH: FOR ADULTS
IS TESTING FOR STIs IMPORTANT?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be asymptomatic yet lead to serious health problems. This makes screening very important. Test yourself after every new partner, especially if you have not used protection. If you have a long-term partner, test yourself every year.
Results: waiting two weeks after you had unprotected sex will give you more accurate STI results. However, for more accurate HIV testing, you may need to wait six weeks.
SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICES
In the UK (including all areas of London), all sexual health services are free and available to everyone regardless of their sexuality, gender, age and ethnic origin. They are also confidential, including anyone between the ages of 13 and 16.
Sexual health services in London are offered by:
Sexual health clinics
Young people’s services
Services offered include:
Advice on safe sex
STI testing, including HIV testing and support
Information on contraception
You can order a self-testing kit online to arrive at your home here: www.shl.uk
The National Sexual Health helpline offers confidential advice on all issues related to sexual health:
Call: 0300 123 7123
Monday to Friday, 9 am - 8 pm
Note: for HIV testing, you need to wait a minimum of six weeks from when you had unprotected sex to get accurate results.
The London HIV Prevention Programme (LHPP) is a London-wide sexual health promotion initiative. It aims to increase HIV testing and promote prevention choices.
There are four ways to prevent HIV:
Medication for people who were diagnosed to make the viral load in their blood undetectable, meaning they cannot pass the virus on to others
PrEP: medicine used as a prevention method by HIV-negative people and at high risk for being exposed to HIV through sexual contact or injection drug use.
PEP: medicine used as an emergency measure after the event if the person was at a risk of HIV transmission.
HIV testing and all HIV treatment are free and confidential for residents in London. You can order a self-testing kit online or visit a clinic.
Locate your nearest sexual health and support service: www.nhs.uk/service-search/other-services/Sexual-health-information-and-support/LocationSearch/734
CONTRACEPTION & TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY
Terminations are provided in NHS hospitals and licensed clinics and are usually free of charge on the NHS.
Emergency contraception comes in two forms:
IUD (intrauterine device): a form of birth control fitted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
Emergency contraceptive pills such as Levonelle or ellaOne. Levonelle has to be taken within 72 hours after sex and ellaOne within 120 hours to be effective.
If you need emergency contraception, call your GP, the nearest sexual health clinic or a pharmacy.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE & DOMESTIC ABUSE
If you are LGBTQIA+ and experienced sexual violence, the London-based charity Galop will provide you with free, confidential and independent help. More information can be found here: www.galop.org.uk/sexualviolence
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please contact the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline:
Call: 0800 999 5428
SEXUAL HEALTH: FOR UNDER 25 YEAR-OLDS
DOES SEXUAL HEALTH MATTER?
Young people are at increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Risk can be significantly reduced by having protected sex and getting regularly tested. Free condoms, safe sex information and STI testing are provided for young people across London.
To find a sexual health service available in your area, click on “Sex & Relationships” on the NHS website: https://nhsgo.uk
The website also offers extensive information about safe sex, STIs, relationships and contraception.
Self-testing kits can be ordered online for free in most areas of London. You can order it whether you have mild symptoms or no symptoms but still want to get yourself checked.
Order a self-testing kit to your home from Sexual Health London: https://www.shl.uk
They offer free regular and emergency contraception services available for people over the age of 16 who live in Lambeth, Southwark, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, Ealing, Harrow, Hackney, City of London and Brent.
SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICES
The Camden & Islington Young People’s Sexual Health Network provides free and confidential sexual health services for young people under 25 who live in the Borough of Islington. The network includes Brook (Euston), Brandon Centre (Kentish Town) and Pulse (Highbury & Islington).
Call the clinics for an appointment. All phone numbers available here:
Pregnancy testing, advice & referral
Emergency pill & Contraception (including long-acting reversible contraception, such as coils*)
Check-ups and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomonas Vaginalis, Syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis)**
Sex and relationship information & support
Signposting to other services
Free condoms & C-Card
Counselling, mental health & well-being support
*Certain types of contraception are only offered on certain days or at specific clinics. Please call the clinic before you come.
**Trichomonas and Hepatitis testing are only available at the Pulse clinics.
For those seeking help in Polish, contact the Brandon Centre and ask to speak to Robert Kocur.
Call: 020 7387 8700
COME CORRECT (C-CARD SCHEME)
Come Correct (C-Card) scheme provides access to free condoms in locations (called Outlets) across London. Registering for a C-Card is free for anyone under 25 and can be done at clinics, youth centres or pharmacies that display the Come Correct logo.
Find out more: www.comecorrect.org.uk
SEXUAL VIOLENCE SUPPORT
Galop: If you are 13 years or older, identify as LGBTQIA+, and are survivors of sexual violence, please contact this charity for support and advice.
SPECTRA & STUDENTSPECTRA
Spectra is a West London based organisation focused on sexual health and mental well-being. StudentSpectra provides free and confidential sexual and mental health support and information to young people aged 13 and over. To find out about services in your borough, email YPSServices@spectra-london.org.uk.
StudentSpectra is looking for volunteers to perform various roles, including outreach and testing sessions and engaging with potential clients. To apply, fill in the form here: https://spectra-london.org.uk/volunteer/
Support the LGBTQIA+ community by volunteering your time and skills at the London Friend charity. They are looking for support group facilitators and antidote drop-in facilitators. No previous experience is needed. Fill out the form here: https://londonfriend.org.uk/apply-to-be-a-volunteer/
QUEER POLONIA UK
If you are LGBTQIA+ and looking to meet more people in the community, join Queer Polonia UK on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/queerpoloniauk
Are you having trouble accessing these services? Email us for support at firstname.lastname@example.org