Monday, November 1, 2010


Atlanta's YouthPride developed the Evolve! program in order to address the growing problem of suicide among LGBTQ teenagers and young adults. The program provides therapeutic services to youth in crisis while also working to increase community awareness of mental health issues, depression and suicide for "at risk" youth and young adults in Metro Atlanta. 

EVOLVE! expanded its services in 2008 by offering YouthPride members free individual, couples, and group counseling in a non-judgmental and confidential environment. Counseling is provided on site by licensed practitioners or a counseling intern. They also provide counseling or referrals to YP members' families and offer workshops to the public.

Suicide Risk Factors
Though it may be obvious to most of us, we should also point out that sexual orientation and gender identity alone are not risk factors for suicide. However, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth face many social factors that put them at higher risk for self-destructive behaviors, including suicide. Some LGBTQ Youth Specific Risk Factors include:
  • Gender Non-conformity – Not following society’s traditional gender roles. For example: the young lesbian involved in softball instead of cheerleading and gay boy that is in drama club instead of playing football.
  • Coming Out Issues – Will I lose my current friends? Will my family turn me out? Am I doomed to get AIDS because I’m gay? I’ll be alone for the rest of my life and similar worries.
  • Rejection when Coming Out – Loss of one’s support system due to rejection by friends, family, community, etc.
  • Coming Out at a Young Age - Increased likelihood of rejection by friends and family, less maturity to handle rejection and abuse.
  • Gay Related Victimization – Rejection and isolation, verbal harassment, physical/sexual assault, property damage.
  • Developmental Stressors – Lack of role models, lack of access to community structures and support systems commonly found in heterosexual community. Can not openly date same-sex romantic partner/take them to the school dance; can not walk down the hall or street holding hands; lack of support from family for same-sex romantic partner.

Youth and young adults (13- 24 years of age), can call (404) 521-9711 or email for help.

No comments:

Post a Comment