How to Strengthen Family Support for LGBTQ+ Teenagers
LGBTQ+ acceptance has come a long way. Yet LGBTQ+ are 2x as likely to have a mental health condition due to stigma. With the right support, this can be changed.
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What to Know About LGBTQ+ & the Mental Health Risks 15 Min
Dr. Ramani kicks off the question by breaking down the foundations of the LGBTQ+ community, from a psychologist’s perspective. She shares the history of how identifying as LGBTQ+ was viewed by the psychology community, and how far that viewpoint has come. She explains the responsibility supporters have in mitigating and preventing mental health issues in their LGBTQ+ loved ones. Kyle shares his own experience of facing stigma as a gay man in high school and college.
Key Support Strategies for a Child Who May Be LGBTQ+ 17 Min
Kyle and Dr. Ramani discuss the signs a child or teenager may be having a difficult time coming out with their sexual identity. Dr. Ramani explains how to “let the child be the child” and how to foster their mental wellbeing, regardless of what they are going through. She explains how to avoid stigmatizing this experience.
How to Respond Supportively to a Loved One’s “Coming Out” Process 19 Min
Dr. Ramani and Kyle discuss how to respond, and how NOT to respond, during a loved one’s “coming out” process. She shares actionable strategies a parent can use to remain respectful and supportive during a child or teenager’s “coming out” journey—-and how to trust that process. She also shares how to avoid trivializing the child’s experience—-which is a pitfall some parents can fall into. They also explain what those who identify as LGBTQ+ can do to maintain their mental health—-if (1) their parents don’t support their coming out, (2) if they decide NOT to come out to their parents, and (3) someone who is experiencing “internalized heterosexism.”
How to Find a Mental Health Provider Who Understands LGBTQ+ Issues 12 Min
Dr. Ramani breaks down how to find a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health provider who follows the official guidelines for respectfully working with LGBTQ+ clients and honoring the evidence base for that work. They also walk through the key misconceptions about going to therapy as an LGBTQ+ patient. They discuss whether it’s important to discuss your sexuality in therapy, why family therapy is so effective in helping parents through their child’s “coming out” process, and how Dr. Ramani has done this in her own practice.
Marriage, Dating, & Coming out to Extended Family (Ongoing Support) 14 Min
Dr. Ramani shares key strategies for how to support an LGBTQ+ loved one as they hit life milestones like dating, marriage, having children, and more. Kyle mentions how daunting it can be for someone who is LGBTQ+ to bring a partner home or to a family event for the first time, and how to navigate that process. They discuss the available literature on how parents can best support LGBTQ+ children.
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About the Series
The LGBTQ+ community has made major strides toward achieving equitable status in today’s society—-in fact, nearly 3 in 4 LGBTQ+ youth say their peers do not have a problem with their identity as LGBTQ+. However, like any worthwhile movement, there is still work to be done.
More than 1 in 4 LGBTQ+ youth say their biggest fear is not being accepted by their parents or families. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults are twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition like depression or anxiety. Additionally, high school students who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual are five times as likely to attempt suicide.
This can be traced to discrimination, stigma, and societal pressures that this group often experiences.
With the right support and education, this does not have to be the case.
Nearly one-fourth of clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula’s patients are LGBTQ+. In this series, Dr. Ramani provides you with a clear understanding of the “coming out” process, strategies to support a loved one during this transitional time, and how to navigate the unique mental health challenges faced by this community.
Watch this series for a comprehensive education on how to strengthen your support for an LGBTQ+ loved one—-straight from a world-renowned psychologist.
Who is this series for?
This series is incredibly insightful for those who identify as LGBTQ+, both in how to address various issues they may face on their journey, and in understanding the perspectives of their parents and/or loved ones.
This series is a must-have for anyone who is supporting a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you’re a parent, sibling, friend, teacher, health worker or otherwise, this series provides crucial advice.
In this series, you’ll discover:
- Why family therapy is so effective in helping parents through their child’s “coming out” process, and how Dr. Ramani has done this in her own practice
- Actionable strategies a parent can use to remain respectful and supportive during a child or teenager’s “coming out” journey—-and how to trust that process
- What steps that those who identify as LGBTQ+ can take if their parents or loved ones do not support them
- What those who identify as LGBTQ+ and decide NOT to come out to their parents can do to maintain their mental health
- What role “internalized heterosexism” may play in the mental health of someone who is LGBTQ+
- How to find a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health providers who follows the official guidelines for respectfully working with LGBTQ+ clients and honoring the evidence base for that work.
- How someone who is LGBTQ+ can navigate the sometimes-daunting journey of bringing their partner to a family event for the first time
“Different groups face different biases, and you may not be aware of how they have to make their way around the world differently, and there are challenges inherent in that...we [tend to] forget that. We need to build empathy.”
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Ph.D.
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