Persad Center

Strengthening the Region’s LGBTQ Communities and Their Allies

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Strengthening the Region’s LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS-impacted Communities

Responding to Trauma in LGBTQ Youth

Collaboration trains trauma therapists to provide culturally competent care

Shooting the video that will help train trauma therapists, June 2014

Shooting the video that will help train trauma therapists, June 2014

The challenges of growing up can be stressful, even traumatic, for any child or adolescent. 

However, for kids who identify or are perceived as LGBTQ, the struggles can be magnified, and their day-to-day lives are often filled with rejection, bullying or physical violence incited by negative reactions to their sexual or gender identity. Responding to the unique experiences of trauma in LGBTQ youth requires special skills, and specialized training is critical for helping trauma therapists to become culturally competent in addressing the unique needs of LGBTQ youth.

PERSAD CENTER is pleased to be part of an effort led by Allegheny General Hospital’s Center for Traumatic Stress in Children & Adolescents, and in collaboration with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), and other national experts, to develop tools and trainings for child and adolescent mental health providers. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is funding the efforts to train trauma therapists throughout the U.S., which includes the production of a training video and a series of webinars that will reach hundreds of trauma treatment centers and providers. “We’re pleased to bring our expertise in LGBTQ mental health to the process”, says PERSAD CENTER Executive Director Betty Hill.

Working with the AGH and NCTSN teams recently to conduct interviews for the video production, PERSAD Program Director Sandy Soloski explains the importance of raising the standard of care. “Lack of LGBTQ cultural competence can interfere with recovery, so it’s rewarding to work with a team that’s dedicated to improving care and increasing access”, says Soloski. The web-based video will be completed in the fall of 2014 and made available to trauma centers and providers throughout the U.S. and beyond.