Building psychosocial support networks for LGBTIQA+ youth


Open Doors Youth Service has been working with QLD LGBTIQA+ youth over the past 16 years. We have seen many changes occur within the community and in relation to the needs and supports of LGBTIQA+ youth and their families. The Presentation would like to reflect on the learnings that have been had and the current best practice frameworks which we use, in order to better support at risk LGBTIQA+ Youth. The presentation will look at the key areas that we focus on to increase social determinants of health in LGBTIQA+ young people as well as the psychosocial needs of this cohort. The key learnings we will be sharing are: Responding to the needs of at risk LGBTIQA+ young people, providing family and peer support, providing safe social spaces for social and community growth, addressing the physical, mental and sexual health needs of LGBTIQA+ young people.


Pam Barker |

Pam Barker General Manager Open Doors Youth Service Inc. Pam is the General Manager of Open Doors Youth Service. Working with a diverse team of Clinicians to empower and support young LGBTIQA+ people and their families. Pam‰’s background is in Corporate Management, People Management and Executive Leadership Coaching. Pam‰’s role at ODYS is an advocacy, community development and consultation bases as well as leading a team of 10 employee‰’s. Pam has been instrumental in supporting the organisation to realign their mission, vision and values as well as the growth of both mental health programs and AOD Intervention program. Pam is passionate about improving the lives of Gender Diverse young people. Currently studying to become a Clinical Health Psychologist 

Chris Pickard

Chris has been with Open Doors Youth Service since 2015 after volunteering with the organisation for 12 months prior. Chris provides case work and advocacy for young LGBTI+ people aged 12 – 24 and their families. Focusing on early intervention and prevention of homelessness, Chris works with young people, their families and communities to break down barriers within the family home, in an attempt to keep young people physically and mentally safe and in stable accommodation. With a focus on maintaining connection to family, community and education ‰- Chris works collaboratively with stakeholders in the lives of our young people. Chris facilitates positive social interactions among young people through social support groups and interactions, acknowledging the incredible protective factor this is to our cohort. Chris is passionate about young LGBTI+ people and their community and believes that every young LGBTI+ person deserves the opportunity to grow to their fullest potential and truly know pride for life. Chris‰’s psychological studies provide an excellent grounding for his work with young people and their families. Chris is studying to become a clinical psychologist.