LGBTQ+ Youth

LGBTQ+ Youth

LGBTQ+ youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of their heterosexual peers and almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide.  In a national study of transgender adults, 40% reported having made a suicide attempt, most when they were young.   We can each play an important role in preventing suicide among LGBTQ+ youth by better understanding root causes of this significant health disparity.  Rejection, harassment, victimization, and discrimination are implicated in elevated suicide risk among this population. LGBTQ+ cultural competence and sensitivity are crucial for professionals working with young people and their families.

This webpage provides educators and mental health professionals with best practice training and resources to support the LGBTQ+ children and youth in their care.

Learning About Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression

This video, created by the Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity (CoE LGBTQ+ BHE), reviews basic terminology that is important to know when working with people who have diverse sexual orientations or gender identities. This terminology includes sex assigned at birth, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

Watch The Video

LGBTQ Youth & Family Resources

Research from the Family Acceptance Project® shows that families play a critical role in contributing to serious health risks & promoting well-being for LGBTQ young people. Learn about how family behaviors affect your LGBTQ child’s health risks and ways to reduce risk and increase support.

View The Resources

Self-Paced & Recorded Learning Opportunities

Provided by the Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity, these learning opportunities focus on the best and latest practices to decrease behavioral health disparities impacting LGBTQ+ people.

Sign up for an Ideas@TheInstitute account to access these learning opportunities. For enrollment instructions, click here.

Create An Account

View and download a tip sheet that can help signal to LGBTQ+ youth that you are an affirming healthcare provider.

View Tip Sheet

Recorded Webinars

LGBTQ+ Youth Suicide Prevention Series: 

Webinar #1 (10/13/2021) 

Title: Best Practices for Working with Families of LGBTQ+ Children and Youth

Description: This virtual 30-minute presentation will provide helpful tips on working with families and other caregivers of LGBTQ+ youth. Some families may struggle to understand their child or youth’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Some may fear rejection from their own communities or fear of what the future may hold for their family. During this session, attendees will hear about the importance of family support, strategies for helping families process their feelings, and promising programs that are making strides towards creating evidence-based programs for families of LGBTQ+ youth. The 30 minute presentation will be followed by a 15 minute Q&A.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learners will hear about the importance of family acceptance for LGBTQ+ children and youth
  2. Learners will gain tools, such as cultural humility principles and promising practices, for working with the families of LGBTQ+ children and youth
  3. Learners will leave with an understanding of important dynamics such as deep culture and family fear of discrimination that are important elements when working with families effectively.

Presenter: Dr. Angela Weeks is the Project Director for the National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for LGBTQ2S Children and Youth in Foster Care. As part of this work, she has helped design, implement, and evaluate 15 different programs and initiatives for LGBTQ+ children, youth, and their families experiencing foster care. She also leads the Center of Excellence for LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity for the Institute for Innovation and Implementation at University of Maryland, School of Social Work.

Webinar #2 (11/1/2021) 

Title: Responding When A Youth Discloses Their LGBTQ Identity

Description: During this 30-minute session, attendees will learn strategies for responding when a student discloses their sexual orientation and gender identity. The discussion will include ways to respond and what to do with the information once you know it. The 30 minute presentation will be followed by a 15 minute Q&A.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Hear about the importance of affirming responses to disclosure
  2. Learn examples of responses they could use when an LGBTQ+ youth tells them their identity
  3. Learners will leave with guidance on what to do with the information after is it disclosed

Presenter: Dr. Angela Weeks is the Project Director for the National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for LGBTQ2S Children and Youth in Foster Care. As part of this work, she has helped design, implement, and evaluate 15 different programs and initiatives for LGBTQ+ children, youth, and their families experiencing foster care. She also leads the Center of Excellence for LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity for the Institute for Innovation and Implementation at University of Maryland, School of Social Work.

Webinar #3 (12/8/2021) 

Title: Creating Safety Plans With LGBTQ+ Youth

Description: This 30-minute session will provide attendees information on safety planning with LGBTQ+ youth. Safety planning is a protective measure that can be done with youth in a variety of situations from disclosing their identities to others to engaging in sex-segregated activities. This includes how to assess support, challenges, and tools that can help youth cope through difficult times. The 30 min presentation will be followed by a 15 minute Q&A

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn when a safety plan is needed
  2. Learn how to assess a young person’s concerns for a variety of situations
  3. Learn to explore the young person’s network of support
  4. Learn to develop a strong safety plan

Presenter: Dr. Angela Weeks is the Project Director for the National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for LGBTQ2S Children and Youth in Foster Care. As part of this work, she has helped design, implement, and evaluate 15 different programs and initiatives for LGBTQ+ children, youth, and their families experiencing foster care. She also leads the Center of Excellence for LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity for the Institute for Innovation and Implementation at University of Maryland, School of Social Work.

Webinar #4 (1/26/2022)

Title: LGBTQ+ Affirming School Practices

Description: This 30-minute session will provide guidance on what types of school policies and strategies can be implemented to help promote and build an affirming environment for LGBTQ+ young people. The  presentation will be followed by a 15 minute Q&A.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about the current school climate and why affirming environments is important
  2. Learn how to asses the current school climate
  3. Learn methods of accountability
  4. Learn creative school campaigns

Presenter: Dr. Angela Weeks is the Project Director for the National Quality Improvement Center on Tailored Services, Placement Stability, and Permanency for LGBTQ2S Children and Youth in Foster Care. As part of this work, she has helped design, implement, and evaluate 15 different programs and initiatives for LGBTQ+ children, youth, and their families experiencing foster care. She also leads the Center of Excellence for LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity for the Institute for Innovation and Implementation at University of Maryland, School of Social Work.

Foundational Webinars on Working with LGBTQ+ People and their Families: 

Sexual Orientation & Behavioral Health 101

Description: This webinar enables behavioral health service providers to be more equipped to support, treat and advocate for people with diverse sexual orientations.

Watch: 

Gender Identity, Expression & Behavioral Health 101

Description: This webinar provides foundational knowledge about gender identity and gender expression, and how to best provide services for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals across the lifespan.

Watch: 

Providing Trauma-Informed Care for LGBTQ+ & Youth: Integrating FAP & TF-CBT

Description: This webinar will discuss the integration of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and the Family Acceptance Project (FAP), the first research and family support model to reduce risk and promote well-being for LGBTQ+ children and youth.

Watch:

Comprehensive E-Learning Offerings

This multi-module course will equip providers with information and practice tips to improve services for LGBTQ+ people in their care. This course provides information on terminology, general identity development, disparities among LGBTQ+ populations across the lifespan, and best practices for behavioral health providers.

Modules include: 

  • Exploring SOGIE-Focused Terminology
  • Understanding the Unique Needs of LGBTQ+ People
  • Working with Transgender & Nonbinary Populations
  • Exploration of Intersectionality
  • Addressing Biases within Ourselves, Systems and Providers
  • Creating a Welcoming Environment: Enhancing Diversity & Non-Discrimination Policies & Practices

The links below will allow you to register for LGBTQ+ Center For Excellence Behavioral Health Equity Learning Modules  – 

Resources

LGBTQ+ Crisis Hotline

The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,queer, and questioning) young people. If you need support, call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. The Trevor Project also provides peer support, research, public education, and advocacy.

Visit The Trevor Project Website