Robert Josef Cross via Crowdrise
June 09, 2010
BENEFITING: Out Youth
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, according to the Massachusetts 2006 Youth Risk Survey. A 2009 study, "Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes" led by Dr. Caitlin Ryan and conducted as part of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, shows that adolescence who were rejected by their families for being LGBT were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide. And for every completed suicide by a young person, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made (2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey).
ONE SOLUTION: OUT YOUTH
Out Youth is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and provide services to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth ages 12 to 19 in Austin and Central Texas. They offer peer support groups, counseling, educational programs, social activities and community outreach.
Out Youth offers individual counseling and peer support to youth after a brief intake process. All of these services are offered at our drop-in-center (the Out Youth house), which is open three evenings a week.
Counseling: Out Youth provides one-on-one counseling as requested by youth. Sessions are available with staff during the day Sunday through Thursday or during drop-in-center hours in the evenings. Youth frequently request counseling relating to issues of coming out, abuse, depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, dropping out of school, relationship issues, becoming homeless, and HIV. Approximately 30% to 40% of our youth receive individual counseling.
Peer Support: Out Youth's peer support groups are important in helping youth feel less isolated in dealing with difficulties related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Support groups are one hour in length and occur on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Frequent topics include coming out to parents and family, loneliness, relationships, school, fear of AIDS, and what it means to be "a sexual minority." Peer support services also include our youth providing support via email to rural and other isolated youth who are dealing with sexual orientation and gender identity issues.