Creating a Safe Environment for LGBT Youth

Creating a Safe Environment for LGBT Youth
It is important to build a safe environment for all youth, whether they are straight or LGBT. All youth can thrive when they feel supported. Parents, schools, and communities can all play a role in helping LGBT youth feel physically and emotionally safe:
• Build strong connections and keep the lines of communication open. Some LGBT youth often feel rejected. It is important for them to know that their families, friends, schools, and communities support them.
o Enhance their lives by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self-expression, self-acceptance, as well as social networking opportunities and having fun.
o The Y.E.S Program will further enhance our existing programs and services through one-on-one mentorship opportunities with a caring professional adult. The value of mentoring is immeasurable and will assist and support the youth in the areas of: educational support, life skills and resiliency, workforce development, and personal growth. At its most basic level, the mentoring program will guarantee that our youth participants have someone supportive in their lives that care about them.
• Creating a safe space, mentally and physically, for youth of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Discussion groups cover a wide range of social, educational, health, and community issues. Offering resources for healthy living and making healthy choices, as well as developing leadership skills.
• Establish a safe environment at school. Schools can send a message that no one should be treated differently because they are, or are perceived to be, LGBT. Sexual orientation and gender identity protection can be added to school policies.