Back to School

It’s the end of summer break and that means it is time to return to school. For many students, this is an exciting time of year. A whole new year full of new classes, new teachers and new experiences. However, for some students this can be a very stressful time of year, especially for those students who identify as LGBTQ. For those students, going back to school can be anxiety inducing and excruciatingly stressful. Having to face the school year prepared for more than just class schedules, notebooks and number two pencils, but having to be mentally prepared for a daily barrage of discrimination, being misgendered and most likely being met with violence, bullying or ridicule. 
When our young people find themselves in schools where they are being discriminated against, ridiculed, misgendered, facing violence, bulling and feel they are not safe or affirmed they end up feeling depressed and alone and become at risk for mental illness and possibly attempting or completing suicide.
Research has shown for several years that children that are bullied in school or online are far more likely to become depressed and attempt suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young individuals aged 10-24 years old (Hedegaard, Curtin, & Warner, 2018) and this risk increases for those young folx that belong to the LGBTQ. 
It is so important for children of every age to have safe and affirming spaces, free of physical harm and bullying. Without these spaces they are much more likely to feel alone and become depressed. Of course, as parents, you cannot always be there to fix the world around our children, but you can foster that safe space at home. You can be there for them, accept them, support them, make sure they know that that you are there for them and safe to come to. You can help them by speaking up for them and help them to find their voice to speak their truth and advocate for themselves. Perhaps even help make those safe space. Become an Ally.

-Heidi Schults

It is so important to have people to talk to, to have support. If you or someone you love is struggling, please reach out. 

Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988
Crisis Text Line: Text Hello to 741747
YouthLine: Text teen2teen to 839863, or call 1-877-968-8491
The Trevor Project: 1-811-565-8860
LGBT National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
LGBT National Youth Talkline: 1-800-246-7743
Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
Crisis Text Line: text TWLOHA to 741741 
Veterans Crisis Line:800-273-8255 (press 1)