ADDED ON: 11/28/2021

Family Acceptance Project launches online resource to help LGBTQ youth

11/27/21 | Los Angeles Blade

As the Covid-19 pandemic stretches into another year, the toll on children, youth and families has escalated. Last month, leading national child and adolescent medical groups designated a national emergency for children’s and adolescent’s mental health in response to soaring rates of mental health challenges that disproportionately impact communities of color and call for trauma-informed services to reduce risk and support family resilience. The impact on LGBTQ young people has been significant. Research over a period of years has documented high levels of risk for suicide, substance abuse, depression and homelessness for LGBTQ youth, related to social stigma. Before the pandemic, LGBTQ youth were 4-6 times more likely to attempt suicide compared with non-LGBTQ peers. During the pandemic, stress, attempted suicide and emergency department visits have ballooned for children and youth, overall. Of particular concern, lack of services for families with LGBTQ children has been an ongoing problem and is a major gap in prevention and care for diverse LGBTQ children, youth and families, nationwide. This has become more urgent given the early ages when children and adolescents self-identify as LGBTQ today – increasingly in childhood and pre-teen years – as a result of widespread access to information and positive images of LGBTQ lives, inconceivable for earlier generations of LGBTQ people who came out as adults and often led closeted lives. “The Family Acceptance Project’s work provides critical information to help parents and caregivers learn to support their LGBTQ children and to help youth and families find access to urgently needed resources,” Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention said. “Their research has shown that when adults learn and demonstrate specific supportive behaviors in the home and community, LGBTQ youth not only feel more connected, but their health outcomes, including suicide risk, can be improved. A critical component of FAP’s work is providing evidence-based guidance to decrease family rejection and increase acceptance in ways that are culturally and linguistically relevant,” she added.

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