Resources and information on identity for young people and those supporting a young person’s mental health

As we grow up, there are many different parts of us that grow to form our identity. Our identities are made up of many wonderful parts - things like our culture, sexuality, religion, age, our body, gender and lots more.
Navigating and understanding our identities can be an exciting time. For some it can be a time that also raises feelings of being different to others and this may lead to emotions like sadness, stress or shame. It is important to remember our identities are personal, no one can tell you how to identify. You are who you are. To help learn more about the wonderful things that make up our identities, we have put together some useful resources for young people navigating their identity and information on identity for family, health professionals and educators.

Sexuality and gender identity

Gender identity and sexuality both exist on broad spectrums. From mostly male through to mostly female or mostly attracted to the opposite gender through to attracted to the same gender. How people feel about their gender or who they’re attracted to is personal and uniquely them. It is an amazing part of their identity. Learn more about these here. 


Cultural and ethnic identity

Australia is a multicultural society. We are all unique and special and have our own cultural history and family heritage. The importance of someone’s cultural identity can change across their life time. Sometimes growing up surrounded by a culture that is different to the one at home may mean that cultural beliefs cause challenges for us. Learn more about celebrating your cultural identity and how to navigate challenges here. 


Other resources 

  • Minus18: Have lots of resources about gender diversity and sexuality for young people and their family and friends

  • Raising Children Network: Has compiled a list of services, support groups and resources on the topics of gender identity and sexuality for young people and their family and friends

  • The Genderbread Person: a useful resource for understanding gender identity

  • Qlife: Chat to a volunteer LGBTIQA+ counsellor over the phone or through web-chat every day from 3pm to midnight (all ages)

  • Black Rainbow: National volunteer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social enterprise supporting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQA+ community. Check out their webinars


How to get support

It can be challenging celebrating your whole identity if you are feeling different from others. This might raise feelings of sadness, shame or anxiety. Experiencing discrimination based on a part of your identity can make these feelings worse. No one should be discriminated against based on their identity.  

If you are having a tough time, it’s important that you reach out to a trusted friend, family member, teacher or Elder to share what you are going through. Or you can get in touch with your local headspace centre or use our online or phone-based service at eheadspace.

You can also chat anonymously with other young people who identify as LGBTIQA+ and ask questions of our headspace queer peersvia qheadspace.

For immediate help contact: triple zero (000) if it is an emergency

National 24/7 crisis services:


Additional youth support services include: