Responding to LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health Challenges

October 22, 2021

Responding to the needs of young people who are experiencing mental health issues has never been more important. The trauma of the pandemic has exacerbated and illuminated mental health challenges, and mental health needs for youth extend beyond pandemic-related issues.

Important new data on the unique mental health issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth was released earlier this year by The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health. The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ young people.

The third national survey has alarming statistics, including:

  • 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth
  • 70% of LGBTQ youth stated that their mental health was “poor” most of the time or always during COVID-19
  • Only 1 in 3 LGBTQ youth found their home to be LGBTQ-affirming.

In addition to its survey results, The Trevor Project also presented the benefits and opportunities to support LGBTQ+ mental health. Examples include creating LGBTQ+-affirming spaces and respecting the pronouns of transgender and nonbinary youth (he/she/they/ze, for example).

Given the importance of this topic, The WNET Group is proud to present “Spotlight on LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health” in partnership with Well Beings.

On Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. ET, we will welcome parents, educators, and students to a live streamed virtual event. Experts and youth will discuss how to create and maintain safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth, demonstrate support and allyship for all ages, and share resources for how to support LGBTQ+ youth mental health.

Learn more and livestream

The free event will include a special welcome from acclaimed performer Billy Porter (Pose, Cinderella, Kinky Boots) and an exclusive performance from the cast of the new Off-Broadway production, Trevor: A New Musical. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions during the live panel discussion, hear from young people and student journalists, and learn about local resources, including PBS classroom resources for educators.

Expert Panelists

Lizzie McAdam, RDT/BCT, LCAT, Director, Counseling and Case Management,  Hetrick-Martin Institute
Eric Vaughan, Associate Director of LGBTQ Programs and Policy (formerly), New York City Department of Education
Chris Bright, Director of Public Training, The Trevor Project
Dustin Liu, Founder, gatherED studio

The panel will be moderated by Jenna Flanagan, Correspondent/Anchor, MetroFocus. 

Learn more about the panelists and event at wellbeings.org/wnet. 

If you are in crisis, or experiencing thoughts of suicide, please text the Crisis Text Line (Text HELLO to 741741) or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-Talk (8255). Both services are free and available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

October is LGBT History Month, which was started by a Missouri high school teacher in October 1994.

Get a roundup of broadcast and digital premieres, special offers, and events with our weekly newsletter.