Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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LGBTQ Resources in the Hattiesburg Area

Kennard-Washington Hall
Kennard-Washington Hall, University of Southern Mississippi
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT) individuals are at increased risk for developing certain mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders. A 2014 study conducted in England by Youth Chances found that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth between 16 and 25 years of age reported higher levels of depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Carlos Maza, a researcher at Equality Matters, reported in a memo from the Center for American Progress that LGBT young adults are more likely to engage in self-harm and attempt suicide compared to their non-LGBT peers, and this is consistent with data summarized by the American Association of Suicidology.

It is apparent that there is a great need for mental health services for LGBTQ youth; however, finding safe spaces to discuss LGBTQ issues can be difficult. Listed below are some resources available in the Hattiesburg area, as well as a couple of state and national resources.

Resources in the Hattiesburg Area

Student Counseling Services (601.266.4829) – Located on The University of Southern Mississippi's Hattiesburg campus, Student Counseling Services provides counseling to current Southern Miss students and offers assistance on issues specific to the LGBTQ community.

Community Counseling and Assessment Clinic (601.266.4601) – Also located on the Hattiesburg campus of The University of Southern Mississippi, the Clinic provides a safe space for students and members of the Hattiesburg community age 16 and up to discuss a variety of issues relevant to the needs of the LGBTQ community.

USM Gay Straight Alliance – The Gay Straight Alliance at The University of Southern Mississippi is a group of students, faculty, and community members who believe in putting an end to homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, racism, sexism, and all other forms of discrimination. The GSA offers free education, support, and information to individuals at Southern Miss.

State and National Resources

Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition – The mission of the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition is to ensure that all students have a safe learning environment by protecting students’ Constitutional rights, ending homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and all forms of discrimination, and fostering acceptance of students regardless of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity through public education and advocacy.

The Trevor Project (24/7 Crisis Hotline: 866.488.7386) – The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth ages 13-24.

- Post contributed by Daniel -