Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth
LGBTQ is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/ questioning that is colloquially used to describe an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Teenagers that identify as non-heterosexual or non-cisgender may also consider themselves members of the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ youth are often subject to hate crimes (e.g., physical and/ or emotional abuse, threats, public humiliation, etc.), sexual orientation discrimination, and/ or rejection from loved ones. The Human Rights Campaign asserts that LGBTQ youth are more likely to face bullying, interpersonal violence, and have a 120% higher risk of homelessness than those that identify as cisgender, heterosexual teens. The Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth is an independent state agency dedicated to helping all youth thrive.
Former Governor, William F. Weld founded the original Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth in 1992. It was specifically designed to respond to high suicide risk among gay and lesbian youth in the Commonwealth. In 2006, the original Commission transformed into an independent state agency established by law that is currently known as the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth. It is a fifty-member Commission that works in partnership with 18 state entities and is mandated to “make [annual] recommendations about policies and programs supporting LGBTQ youth to the State government and its agencies, and to ask for adequate funding in the annual State budget for effective programs.” Another function of the Commission is to produce the Safe Schools Program along with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). It provides training and technical assistance to schools across the state as well as organizes the statewide network of Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs). The Safe Schools Program was founded in 1993 to address concerns of bullying and suicide risk that LGBTQ youth faced in Massachusetts public schools. It remains an integral part of implementing the state’s anti-bullying law and protecting the health and safety of all students.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, in the long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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