This spring, AFSP partnered with Dr. Caitlin Ryan and the Family Acceptance Project (FAP) to launch a pilot educational program called Involving Families in LGBT Youth Suicide Prevention. The pilot events were hosted by six AFSP chapters across the country: the Arkansas Chapter; the South Carolina Chapter; the National Capital Area Chapter; the Capital Region, New York Chapter; the Cincinnati Chapter; and the Vermont Chapter.
Part of AFSP’s suicide prevention initiative for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) populations, this new community-based program aims to educate parents and other adults about the key role that families play in reducing suicide risk in LGBT youth and promoting their health, safety, and well-being. The program has been developed around FAP’s award-winning short documentary films, Always My Son and Families Are Forever, which show real families’ journeys from struggle to support of their LGBT and gender-variant children.
Focusing on ethnically and religiously diverse families, these films show real-life examples of rejecting behaviors that families of LGBT children commonly exhibit, and which FAP’s research has linked to serious health problems in LGBT young people, such as depression, substance abuse and suicidal ideation and behavior. They also show how families can learn to express acceptance and support, and the positive outcomes those changes have for their child’s self-esteem and well-being.
Attendees of the program also learn about the critical research of the FAP and receive the FAP’s evidence-based educational materials for families with LGBT children. Check your local AFSP Chapter’s website for more events to be scheduled soon.
To learn more about the Family Acceptance Project and their family-based prevention and intervention materials and trainings, please visit their website.