Gen Q is back after a long hiatus, offering a supportive space for LGBTQIA+ youth to learn some new skills and information.
The support group is run by Regional Youth Support Services and April 28 marks the first meeting since the onset of COVID-19, with the last meeting having taken place in February 2020.
The sexually and gender diverse support group is for young people aged from 12-17 and has a mix of social support and skills based activities.
Every month, the theme or topic of the meeting is changed to cover a broad range of issues and discussions.
These topics and themes include mental health, navigating the medical system, body image, sexual health, healthy and respectful relationships and other topics that young people identified during consultations that they requested to know more about.
Other activities that are on offer at the support group include board games, picnics as well as arts and crafts.
“The aim of these meetings is to give inclusive information that is not heteronormative or cisnormative that they can use to make informed decisions while also being in a safe and supportive environment,” said Gen Q facilitator, Lexi Lovell.
The group is run by professional youth workers and guest speakers from other organisations such as NSW Health, to give high quality and relevant information to participants.
“Before COVID-19, the group generally had any number between 3-15 young people attending on a given evening,”
“An online group was trialed during the COVID-19 lockdown, but due to the decision to deidentify the group as to not out anyone unintentionally, this was attended by only a few young people,” said Lovell.
Historically, the group met on the last Tuesday of every month, but it was changed to Wednesday after RYSS consulted young people earlier this year.
RYSS also hopes to expand these meetings to once a fortnight later this year.
“RYSS are very excited to be running the Gen Q group again, and to work with young and sexually diverse people from the Central Coast.
Gen Q is just one of the many support services that the company runs for young people on the Central Coast, with other services such as information, support, assessment, casework, and referral to services.
“RYSS is your point of access across the entire Central Coast for high quality services, resources and facilities specifically tailored to children, young people and their families, young people with disabilities and those wanting to increase independence, build skills and engage in their community,” said Lovell.