- Understand the factors that put LGBTQ puts teens at higher risk of depression and suicide.
- Identify the unique challenges LGBTQ teens face in their relationships with parents and family members.
- Describe how bullying and abuse affect the mental health of LGBTQ youth. Understand how this relates to the broader issue of minority stress.
- Be able to describe what a Gay-Straight Alliance is and its impact on suicide rates of students.
This show is about the courage of teenagers who come out at a time in life when it is hardest to be different. We explore some of the struggles faced by LGBTQ teens and how these contribute to higher rates of depression and suicide among LGBTQ youth compared to their peers. Personal stories reveal the challenges of coming out to family members at a time when all teens struggle with differentiation and independence. They also face significant abuse at school, where overt bullying and negative rhetoric from both peers and adults is prominent. Several measures, however, have been shown to improve the well-being of LGBTQ youth. We discuss how implementation of anti-discrimination policies and Gay-Straight Alliances in schools has been shown to reduce suicide rates in a surprising way. In addition, we highlight the ways in which adults can serve as role models and advocates while providing supportive relationships for LGBTQ teens.
- Does the evidence that minority stress and discrimination leads to long-term negative health effects affect the way you approach LGBTQ teens and youth?
- How did you respond to the results of Saewyc study that implementing measures in schools to protect LGBTQ youth actually helps heterosexual boys the most?
- The importance of supportive adult relationships for LGBTQ individuals was discussed. How can a therapy relationship provide this connection for LGBTQ teens?
- The mental health field has contributed to many misconceptions about LGBTQ individuals. How does this affect your view of mental health support for LGBTQ youth today?
Links to additional resources:
A Practitioner’s Resource Guide: Helping Families to Support Their LGBT Children
Information from SAMHSA for practitioners working with families of LGBT youth
Centers for Disease Control Statistics on LGBTQ Youth
Information and data from the CDC
Do Ask, Do Tell
An online toolkit for providers on collecting sexual orientation and gender identity information in clinical settings
The Trevor Project
Resources and training for youth-serving professionals
American Psychological Assocation Guidelines for Providers
Guidelines for psychological practice with LGBTQ clients
American Psychological Association: Just The Facts
APA resource on sexual orientation in youth
Human Rights Campaign: Understanding the Basics
Understanding the basics of supporting and working with transgender children and youth