Collaborating to Promote Mental Health & Well-Being for LGBTQ Children & Youth
This website is a collaboration between the Family Acceptance Project®(FAP) and the Institute for Innovation & Implementation to increase family and community support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified (LGBTQ) children and youth to decrease health and mental health risks and to promote well-being. LGBTQ youth are at high risk for health and mental health problems related to social stigma. The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly increased isolation and mental health risks which has led national child and adolescent medical groups to call a national emergency for children’s and adolescent’s mental health that requires a coordinated response. This project was funded by the Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health, a collaborative fund powered by Panorama.
For the past 20 years, the Family Acceptance Project® has focused on reducing risk and promoting well-being among LGBTQ children and youth by increasing family support. FAP is a research, education and intervention initiative, affiliated with San Francisco State University, that did the first research on LGBTQ youth and families and developed the first evidence-based family support model to help ethnically, racially and religiously diverse families to support their LGBTQ children.
FAP’s research shows that families play a critical role in contributing to their LGBTQ children’s risk and well-being. FAP’s research team identified more than 50 specific family rejecting behaviors that contribute to increased risk for suicide, depression, drug use and other health risks and more than 50 specific family accepting behaviors that help protect against risk and promote well-being. These behaviors provide a foundation for FAP’s family support work and are included in the resources on this and FAP’s website.
Our new website brings together – for the first time – resources for both LGBTQ youth and families to help parents and caregivers to access accurate information about their children’s sexual orientation and gender identity and for both youth and parents to find supportive resources that validate diverse identities. This site will continue to add content to increase support for LGBTQ youth.
The Institute for Innovation & Implementation, founded in 2005 as part of the University of Maryland School of Social Work. is partnering with FAP to carry out this work. The Institute build research-based, inclusive, culturally responsive and transformative child, youth-and family-serving systems and services, and develops workforce capacity in these systems. The Institute partners with government agencies, health providers, youth and families, and community organizations to carry out this work and to improve outcomes for and with children, youth, and families.
Acclaimed multidisciplinary artist Sam Kirk, founder of Provoke Culture, partnered with us to powerfully show how family rejecting and accepting behaviors affect LGBTQ youth. Transformed by Sam’s art into social media memes, and deployed across platforms to connect LGBTQ youth, parents, caregivers and others with critical information on our website, Sam’s art translates FAP’s research into affirming and healthier futures for LGBTQ children and youth.
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