Autonomy means that you are able to make decisions about what you want to do rather than being told what to do by somebody else. Feeling ‘out of control’ is recognised as something that may link to mental health difficulties for young people. On the other hand, feeling like you have more power in your life can help.
Where the principles of Agency and Possibility are upheld, LGBTQ+ young people can feel more in control and empowered in their lives.
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This looks like:
Exploring different options openly and without pressure; supporting LGBTQ+ young people with decisions they make for themselves; and advocating for LGBTQ+ young people where their decisions and needs are not being respected.
When this is not achieved LGBTQ+ young people can feel POWERLESS
Devon* (young person) said “they gave me a list of things and what those types of support would do and let me choose, they didn’t really keep anything from me or make me feel like I wasn’t in control of the decision but if I didn’t know what I needed they would advise me in what they think might be best but still let me choose.”
*These quotations use pseudonyms and have been anonymised to protect participant’s identity.