The LGBTQI2-S community is especially vulnerable when it comes to mental health issues. LGBTQI2-S people are twice as likely to experience mental health problems and have higher rates of attempting and committing suicide compared to their heterosexual counterparts. The transgender community have it even worse, with 48% of transgender adults having contemplated suicide within the lest year compared to 4% of the general population.
The Wall Las Memorias (TWLM) created its innovative mental health program called Beyond Safe Spaces to address these issues. Beyond Safe Spaces provides peer-to-peer support groups for LGBTQI2-S youth as well as a separate support group for families and caregivers of LGBTQI2-S loved ones.
Beyond Safe Spaces has successfully facilitated the peer-to-peer support groups in multiple charter schools across South LA and Metropolitan LA covering various topics from queer history to queer positively. The family caregiver support group has helped families become more accepting of their LGBTQI2-S loved ones and prompted them to become strong allies of the community.
The third component to the program is a training for medical personnel, school and other community organizations on how to build a safe and inclusive environment. With this training, Beyond Safe Spaces aims to cultivate an environment for LGBTQI2-S youth where their sexual gender identity does not bar them from accessing resources or education. Since the beginning of Beyond Safe Spaces more than 300 people have participated in this program to promote mental health stigma reduction.
>> Beyond Safe Spaces Program - A multi-pronged program that provides a wrap-around approach to promoting health for LGBTQI2-S youth with services for youth, parents and caregivers, and other adults in these young people’s lives. Presentations are also made available for group settings upon request.
>> Story Collective - A workshop-based empowerment curriculum for LGBTQI2-S youth, aimed at cultivating mental health advocacy through the arts. Participants explore the arts and share their mental health story through an interactive workshop series and community art exhibition.
>> Linkage to Care - All of our programs offer linkages and warm connections to appropriate general health and mental health care.
>> Community Engagement - Look out for our next event for the LGBTQI2-S TAY community where we aim to build community by encouraging each other to live authentic and healthy lives.
>> Peer Counseling - Peer health specialists are available to provide culturally competent counseling and support to our LGBTQI2-S transitional age youth.