GLYS provides a safe and positive environment for LGBTQ+ youth to learn more about themselves through peer interaction and educational experiences. The organization creates opportunities for emotional growth and community awareness.
Through GLYS outreach, other agencies learn about and increase their sensitivity to the needs of gender and sexual minority youth. GLYS provides LGBTQ+ youth with positive role models and a safe space, while promoting positive self-esteem and the integration of these youth into the larger community. GLYS can also assist youth and their families by providing resources and referrals.
We recently spoke with Susan Frawley, community and parent outreach services coordinator.
How are people with mental health challenges impacted by stigma?
For LGBTQ people, the immediate stigma that comes from pathologizing their very existence is a reason many do not seek treatment for issues. National statistics tell us of the rate of suicide, self-harm, trauma, and substance abuse among LGBTQ people. It is also hard for LGBTQ people to find qualified mental health practitioners who are able to speak in a culturally sensitive manner, use proper pronouns, and understand complex gender identity issues.
What impact is the Campaign having in the community?
The involvement and inclusion of appropriate LGBTQ terms and concerns goes a long way to assist in reaching out to LGBTQ people and inviting them to seek care. The well roundedness of the campaign to reach BIPOC, women, handicap able and historically marginalized communities is a positive in creating a healthier community.