November 2010: Resources For Gay Teens
Academic pressures, peer pressure, sexual development, dating, developing identities and more already make adolescence an especially challenging time of life. Throw in dealing with harassment, threats and violence for teens who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and this phase of life can feel overwhelming and even unbearable at times.
Mental health, academics, peer relationships, and even physical well-being can be negatively affected for GBLT teens who are dealing with various forms of bullying – so it is important for these teens to know they are not alone in what they are going through, that there are people out there who do care and who are tolerant and accepting of them no matter what their sexual orientation is, and how important it is to reach out for guidance and support when feeling bullied or threatened in any way. That said, FX would like to present the following resources:
2. The GLBT National Help Center provides free and confidential telephone and internet peer counseling, information, and local resources for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals throughout the U.S.A. The GLBT National Hotline is 1-888-843-4564 for teens and adults. The GLBT National Youth Talkline is 1-800-246-PRIDE (7743) for teens and young adults up to 25 years old. And the National Help Center also offers Online Peer-Support Chat.
3. Some LGBT people are actually beaten and even killed because of their sexual orientation/identity. If you have been a victim of a hate crime, or know someone who has, contact your local police first. Then check out the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) to find a local chapter of the Anti-Violence Project (AVP) for additional assistance.
4. Students, parents, and school staff members can visit the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), an organization that aims to ensure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
5. College students can check out Stop The Hate, which is organized and operated by Campus Pride, a nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students across the U.S.A. Stop The Hate supports colleges and universities in preventing and combating hate crimes on campus. The Stop The Hate website provides information on the prevalence of campus hate crimes, as well as university anti-violence and crime prevention programs.
6. If you are having difficulties coping with issues around sexual orientation or identity, are having difficulties in your relationships with family members and/or peers because of sexual orientation and/or sexual identity issues, or notice that your emotional well-being is suffering any way because of these issues, consider speaking with your school counselor and/or a private therapist for guidance and support with these issues. If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.
7. If you get to the point that you are seriously considering suicide or are afraid of your impulses then you need to seek help immediately. You can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. In northern New Jersey you can also call the crisis hotline from Morristown Memorial hospital at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the Suicide & Crisis Hotline, 1-800-999-9999, 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Resources for family members:
· Family Pride: Equality for LGBT Parents and Their Families