Updated: Mar 2, 2022
Nicole, SARA Therapist, and Christine, Child and Family Advocate, will be facilitating an LGBTQ+ Peer Support Group for teens on Thursdays from March 3rd through April 21st. This group is open to all teens who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community and need a safe space and support from their peers. There will be topics planned for each session but are flexible to the needs of the participants. Potential topics may include education surrounding sexual violence and the LGBTQ+ community, healthy boundaries in relationships, coping skills, and media representation.
After sending out a needs assessment last summer, we found a great need for a group that offers peer support, connection, safety, and topics specific for them including boundaries, sexual violence within the LGBTQ+ community and its impact, coping, and online safety. These past two years with COVID have further isolated individuals, teens especially, who are in need of a space to connect with other peers in a safe space. LGBTQ+ folks face a higher rate of stigma, violence, mental health challenges, and other unique challenges. With these stresses they are at a higher risk of negative health outcomes. By providing this space, SARA hopes to offer a place for LGBTQ+ teens to be themselves without fear or judgement, connect with other teens, offer peer support to issues or challenges they may be facing, and learn more about different topics that could help them.
If a teen is questioning their identity or unsure where they fit in the LGBTQ+ community, they are more than welcome to join the group. Teens do not need to be present clients with SARA or disclose experiences of sexual violence to participate in the group.
LGBTQ+ teens already have many strengths, which we hope to expand and strengthen alongside their resilience. Their voices are incredibly important and can be used as an avenue for advocacy within their daily lives.
· Text “START” to 678-678
· Call 1.866.488.7386 · Chat with a counselor here
Side by Side is a nonprofit dedicated to creating supportive communities where Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth can define themselves, belong, and flourish.
Q Chat Find and give support, have fun, connect around shared interests and get good information. Chat with like-minded peers in live chats designed for you & by you, facilitated by folks who care.
· Services provided: Hotline, listening, validation, safety planning, emotional support, help filling out forms, licensed therapy, accompaniment, emergency housing
· 24/7 LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline: Call 1.866.356.6998 | Text 804.793.9999