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.”'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 or American Civil Liberties Union
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
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.
Both have PDFs you can download.