The Trevor Project, the leading national organization dedicated to providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth, has released a guide to help support Black LGBTQ youth’s mental health.
The guide was written by Tia Dole, Ph.D., the Chief Clinical Operations Officer at The Trevor Project. It comes in the midst of national civil unrest regarding police brutality against the Black community.
“Over the last several days, The Trevor Project has been supporting Black LGBTQ youth in crisis expressing a wide range of emotions over the senseless and unjust violence against Black Americans,” Dole said. “No matter where you’re located, it’s possible that these current events are impacting your mental health in ways you might not realize.”
The guide covers ways for Black LGBTQ young people to both recognize and address their feelings, as well as ways for outside people to support Black and Brown youth.
Common feelings many Black LGBTQ youth may be feeling include grief, sense of helplessness and hopelessness, disconnecting from white allies, rage, desire to escape, fear, and numbness. The Trevor Project suggests Black LGBTQ youth take care of themselves by allowing themselves to feel their emotions without judgment, working to decrease their emotional intensity, pivoting to action, and seeking support.
For those who want to support Black and Brown youth, The Trevor Project suggests checking in with them, using your platform, centering Black experiences and voices, educating yourself, taking a break from news and social media, and learning the difference between sympathy and empathy.
“We know that some days can be tougher than others, and we want to acknowledge that experiencing a range of emotions at this time is normal,” Dole said. “But no matter where you are, you are not alone. The Trevor Project’s crisis counselors are trained and always available to support the unique needs of Black LGBTQ young people, 24/7 and for free.”