Saturday, May 14, 2016

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month


Are YOUR LGBT Kids Mentally Healthy?
Does your child attend class regularly or does he cut class once a month, as GLSEN (Gay Straight Lesbian Education Network) studies show, because he feels unsafe at school? 
Is she bullied in school, and cyberbullied 24/7?  A new study published last January in the American Journal of Public Health found that it “doesn’t always get better.” http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/02/12/new-study-finds-it-doesn't-always-get-better/ Assistant Professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg Medical School, Brian Mustanski, author of the study, found that the majority of the 248 youths in the study (84.6%) experienced decreasing levels of victimization over the four years .  However, 10.3 percent experienced significant increase in bullying, and 5.1% maintained high levels of victimization (bullying, harassment and assault) over the four years.
Despite President Obama’s edict on May 12 that ALL schools have ‘gender-neutral’ bathrooms, is your trans child prevented from using the bathroom of choice (the one he identifies with) rather than the one that matches his birth certificate? 
These are just a few of the challenges that your LGBT children face daily.  LGBT youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide, with the greatest number being transsexuals.
What’s A Parent to DO?
With odds like these, a parent needs to know what’s going on in his/her child’s life? Is the school treating your child with respect?  If not, know your rights so you can advocate for your son or daughter. Consult GLSEN http://www.glsen.org or American Civil Liberties Union http://www.aclu.org.
Make sure your child is in touch with community-based LGBT support groups or organizations on-line so he can associate with like-minded individuals?
And if you, as a parent, feel overwhelmed trying to find solutions for your child’s happiness, you can get advice from PFLAG http://pflag.org
or The Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State, a research, intervention, education and policy initiative that works to prevent health and mental health risks for LGBT kids.  http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/
Both have PDFs you can download.