Author Topic: LGBTQ+ student groups help boost mental health  (Read 622 times)

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LGBTQ+ student groups help boost mental health
« on: February 21, 2023, 11:46:14 am »
LGBTQ+ student groups help boost mental health

Story by Alan Mozes (HealthDay Reporter)

About 44% of U.S. middle and high schools have student-run clubs that shine a light on issues that touch the lives of LGBTQ+ students.

And new research suggests that depression risk among LGBTQ+ students is considerably lower in those schools where such Gender-Sexuality Alliances, similar to Gay-Straight Alliances, are present and relatively active.

"Depression is one of the foremost health concerns among LGBTQ+ youth," said lead author V. Paul Poteat, a professor in the department of counseling, developmental and educational psychology at Boston College.

"While risk of depression has tended to range from 8% to 17% in the general adolescent population, it has ranged from 18% to 23% among LGBQ+ youth," he noted.

GSAs are school clubs that provide a welcoming space for LGBTQ+ teens and their heterosexual cisgender peers to socialize, support one another and learn about LGBTQ+ issues.

Typically meeting once a week or every other week for up to an hour -- either during or after school -- GSAs sometimes also advocate for protective and inclusive policies for LGBTQ+ youth, Poteat explained, promoting inclusion and visibility along with socializing and event-planning.

He said his team wanted to see whether advocacy work could reduce depressive symptoms by helping lower the risk for loneliness, fearfulness or hopelessness among LGBTQ+ teens.