Spotlight On: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth
LMTI is committed to lifting up and supporting our LGBTQ+ youth and alumni. The month of Pride may look different this year because of social distancing, but what’s not different is the incredible courage, resiliency, and strength of the LGBTQ+ community. As reaffirmed by the findings of the National LGBTQ+ Youth Survey on Mental Health, youth in the LGBTQ+ community experience challenges that have a deep impact on mental health. The study found that 71% of LGBTQ youth reported feeling sad or hopeless for at least two weeks in the past year. The study also found that 39% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past twelve months, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth having seriously considered.
As educators and adults who work with youth, we have an obligation to support youth who identify as LGBTQ+, and to help them feel safe, accepted, and loved. Additionally important to realize is that less than half of youth surveyed are out to an adult at school, which means that there are many more youth that we don’t know about who are part of the LGBTQ+ community who may also be struggling.
Pride is a time to acknowledge the struggles that the LGTBQ+ community has been through, and to celebrate acceptance and authenticity. It’s also a great time to reflect upon ways in which we can help LGBTQ+ youth thrive. Read on below for some great resources to get you started!
For this edition’s webinar, we are checking in with our good friend and former LMTI Staff Member, Ryan Teddy Palmer! Ryan is now a Prevention Associate at the New Jersey Prevention Network, and is bringing us all some great info on how we can help support the LGBTQ+ youth that we work with. Thanks to NJPN for letting us share this great resource (and for taking good care of RTP)!
Check out this comprehensive list of websites, videos, and other resources, which accompanies Ryan’s webinar!
This helpful article from The Trevor Project discusses common feelings that Black LGBTQ+ youth may be experiencing in reaction to the unjust killings of Black people. It also provides self care tips for youth, as well as ways for adults to support youth.
Research by The Trevor Project highlights the ways in which social distancing, economic strain, and increased anxiety related to COVID-19 may impact LGBTQ+ youth. Support resources are also discussed.
Please continue to let us know how we can help YOU help the youth you work with during this time. Thank you for believing in the power of youth!
The LMTI Staff
If there is one word that is synonymous with LMTI, it’s probably Leadership. The question is, how do we teach leadership? How can we take a concept that seems so abstract and make it something that everyone can understand, learn, and practice?
Self care is the practice of intentionally doing things to heal and replenish yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically, especially during times of stress. It is essential for everyone. When we pause to check in with ourselves and take steps to care for ourselves, we are better able to face challenges, overcome obstacles, and help the youth we work with.
We owe it to our youth, even though we may not be able to be physically with them right now, to give them our support and help them cope during this difficult time. The more we know about mental health ourselves, the more we can help our youth.
Youth engagement is at the heart of all we do at LMTI. We spend most of our time figuring out the most effective, most creative, and most FUN ways to give youth opportunities to develop the skills they need to make positive changes in their schools and communities.
LMTI is committed to lifting up and supporting our LGBTQ+ youth and alumni. The month of Pride may look different this year because of social distancing, but what’s not different is the incredible courage, resiliency, and strength of the LGBTQ+ community.
After so much careful and heartfelt discussion, we have put together an experience that we feel is going to get us as close as we can to Camp Mason without actually driving to Hardwick. We are committed to keeping you connected, motivated, and inspired at this time when we need it the most.