Engaging Youth in Safe Online Spaces to Address Mental Health Concerns
For LGBTQ+ youth struggling with their mental health or experiencing serious mental illness, asking for, finding, and receiving support can be challenging for various reasons. Fear, shame, non-affirming environments, and safety are all reasons LGBTQ+ youth may not seek help and eventually end up experiencing a crisis. Online spaces can be an innovative way to meet youth where they are, providing them with support, care, and resources.
Join us to learn about a few of these: imi, a science-backed mental health tool to help LGBTQ+ teens explore and affirm their identity; Q Chat Space, a program that provides facilitated, live-chat discussions for LGBTQ+ teens to find community and develop a positive LGBTQ+ identity; and the web of online resources now available from local LGBTQ+ community centers as a result of the pandemic.
This is a SAMHSA-Sponsored webinar.
Live closed captioning and ASL interpreters will be available for this webinar.
Deborah S. Levine, MSW, MAT (she/her), is the Senior Director of YouthLink, a program of CenterLink. She is the founder of Q Chat Space, an online LGBTQ+ space where teens can join live, chat-based, professionally facilitated support groups. In her current role at CenterLink, Deborah oversees Q Chat Space, is responsible for imi.guide, a free, digital, research-backed mental health tool, and supports the development of youth programs at LGBT community centers across the country through networking opportunities for program staff, peer-based technical assistance and training, and a variety of capacity building services.
Euan Hwang, (he/his), is the YouthLink Manager at CenterLink. He is a veteran of youth programming with over ten years of experience. Since 2011, he has managed and coordinated various youth programs to improve the well-being of youth, equip the youth with leadership and life skills, and build safer spaces for a diverse group of youth. In his role at CenterLink, Euan manages the Q Chat Space project, a digital LGBTQ+ center where teens join live-chat, professionally facilitated online support groups, and supports the YouthLink program in providing assistance to LGBTQ+ youth centers and programs through peer-based technical assistance, training, and networking opportunities for youth center leaders and youth program staff.