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

Upcoming Webinars

Webinar #1 

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

Date & Time: Wednesday, October 13, 10:30am-11:15am ET

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.

Click here to view the recorded webinar (The passcode to access the webinar is Km.+3e2^)

Click here to view the slides from the presentation

Webinar #2 

Title: Responding When A Youth Discloses Their LGBTQ Identity

Date & Time: Monday, November 1, 10:00am-10:45am ET

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.

Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/responding-when-a-student-discloses-their-lgbtq-identity-tickets-186863262047?keep_tld=1

Webinar #3

Title: Creating Safety Plans With LGBTQ+ Youth

Date & Time: Wednesday, December 8, 10:00-10:45am ET

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.

Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/creating-safety-plans-with-lgbtq-youth-tickets-186960633287?keep_tld=1

Webinar #4 

Title: LGBTQ+ Affirming School Practices

Date & Time: Wednesday, January 26, 11-11:45am ET

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.

Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lbgtq-affirming-school-practices-tickets-186974183817?keep_tld=1

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. Create an Ideas@TheInstitute account to access these learning opportunities and click here for enrollment instructions.

Create An Account

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

View Toolkit

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