Imi.guide is a new tool, created by Hopelab and their partners at CenterLink and It Gets Better Project, to support and strengthen the mental health of LGBTQ+ teens. Hopelab is described as an innovative social lab and investor that focuses on tech and youth mental health. A randomized controlled trial was conducted on this tool and had optimistic results on the impact this tool will have on LGBTQ+ teens’ ability to cope and handle stress as they navigate through this content and engage in its activities.
Imi is designed under six different accessible tabs, individually created to meet specific needs. Each tab includes activities, community spaces, learning tools, and an array of resources.
The first tab labeled “Stress” includes a guide on how to lighten the extra stress teens experience as they navigate through a cisgender focused world.
This guide includes information on:
- How to become aware when stress shows up in your body
- What are the four common stressors for LGBTQ+ communities
- How to find a coping skill that works for you
The second tab labeled “Queerness” includes a guide exploring the different avenues of your identity and how these encounters shape your queerness.
Information in this section includes:
- Exploring the intersections of what your personal identity entails
- How to understand what queerness means to you
- When and how to confidently share your LGBTQ+ identity
“I think the Imi site has lots of information on things that happen to teens being in the LGBTQ+ community,” a 15-year-old queer teen from Demopolis, Alabama said. “It also tells you how to handle the stress and discrimination you may face as you ‘come out’.”
Next comes the “Stigma” tab. This section aids in clarifying the confusing messages teens may have internally about being in the LGBTQ+ community.
This section includes:
- Learning what “internalized stigma” is and how to identify it
- Exploring the origins of “internalized stigma” and what to do about it
- Using self-care as a form of resistance
The “Gender” tab follows next. In this guide, teens are provided tools that lead to the sharing of gender identity and expression.
This guide includes:
- Understanding your own gender identity
- Testing things out with your gender expression
- Learning how to share your gender identity and expression with others
Imi also provides LGBTQ+ 101s on the categories of gender, sexuality, and pronouns. This section has an in-depth breakdown of each to gain thorough understanding.
Last, Imi has additional resources for LGBTQ+ teens including:
- Crisis resources
- Resource library
- LGBT Center Locator
- Safer Browsing Tips
Imi also provides an automated text service that texts you every other day to help keep you updated as well as explore the tool and boost your mental health.