All Kinds of News for December 01, 2015
Elevations Residential Treatment Center works with many students who struggle with a variety of issues. One area that can be overlooked is how to support those who identify as being part of the LGBTIQ community. A study was done in October 2015 to understand the prevalence of LGBTIQ youth at Elevations RTC. During this study, all 39 residents were asked about their sexual orientation and gender identity. The results of the study resulted in the recognition that 5% of the youth identify as transgender, 7.5% of the youth identify as gay or lesbian, 12.5% of the youth identify as bi-sexual, 15% of the youth question their sexuality, and 59% identify as heterosexual. The results of the study clearly demonstrated that youth identifying as LGBTIQ are in the minority, which warranted an evolution in the treatment programming available at Elevations RTC.
Students at Elevations RTC and within society are becoming more open to diversity within sexual orientations at a younger age than in the past. This has opened a door for those within the LGBTIQ population to receive assistance. However, it seems that many practitioners working with LGBTIQ youth still feel hesitant to walk through that door due to potential policy violations and judgment.
It is important for LGBTIQ identifying youth to receive support and adequate services found to be effective in research. Research has shown that physical, emotional, and mental health is related to the complex mix of negative stereotypes, discrimination, and a lack of support from family, friends, and institutions (Sherriff, Hamilton, Wigmore, & Giambrone, 2011).
At Elevations RTC we are committed to providing a safe environment for all of our students no matter what gender or sexual orientation they identify with. Many students expressed a desire to create a club in order to create a safe environment to share their experiences and challenges, which they have run into by living in the LGBTIQ community. In order to facilitate a safe place for students to gain support, Elevations RTC will be starting a club for LGBTIQ youth starting in December 2015. This club will be run twice a month and will include psycho-education on LGBTIQ issues, peer group discussions, as well as service activities with local LGBTIQ non-profit organizations.
Nisha Bennett, MSW Student & Matt Seelos, LCSW Asst. Clinical Director
Sherriff, N. S., Hamilton, W. E., Wigmore, S., & Giambrone, B. L. (2011). “What do you say to them?” investigating and supporting the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Journal of Community Psychology, 39(8), 939-955.