Explaining effective mental health support for LGBTQ+ youth: A meta-narrative review

Elizabeth McDermott, Rachel Eastham, Elizabeth Hughes, Emily Pattinson, Katherine Johnson, Stephanie Davis, Steven Pryjmachuk, Ceu Mateus, Olu Jenzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This meta-narrative review on mental health early intervention support for LGBTQ+ youth aimed to develop a theoretical framework to explain effective mental health support. Using the RAMESES standards for meta-narrative reviews, we identified studies from database searches and citation-tracking. Data extraction and synthesis was conducted through conceptual coding in Atlas.ti. in two stages: 1) conceptual mapping of the meta-narratives; 2) comparing the key concepts across the meta-narratives to produce a theoretical framework. In total, 2951 titles and abstracts were screened and 200 full papers reviewed. 88 studies were included in the final review. Stage 1 synthesis identified three meta-narratives - psychological, psycho-social, and social/youth work. Stage 2 synthesis resulted in a non-pathological theoretical framework for mental health support that acknowledged the intersectional aspects of LGBTQ+ youth lives, and placed youth at the centre of their own mental healthcare. The study of LGBTQ+ youth mental health has largely occurred independently across a range of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, public health, social work and youth studies. The interdisciplinary theoretical framework produced indicates that effective early intervention mental health support for LGBTQ+ youth must prioritise addressing normative environments that marginalises youth, LGBTQ identities and mental health problems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100004
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalSSM- Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2021


  • Mental health
  • LGBTQ+
  • Youth
  • Adolescence
  • Sexual minority
  • Gender minority


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