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Campuses Must Create Safe Environment for LGBT Students

Caitlin Ryan accepts the Mary Smith Arnold Anti-Opression Award. Photo courtesy of the Bay Area Reporter..

In the light of recently publicized bullying and suicides on college campuses,  universities should take steps to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth feel safe, according to this article in the Bay Area Reporter.

These actions include creating campus centers or other safe zones where LGBT students can go to feel comfortable and talk about their personal problems with counselors, according to experts who attended a recent American Counseling Association (ACA) 2012 Conference and Expo in San Francisco.

However, Few universities have such spaces, the article said.

The article also mentioned  National Association of Social Workers member Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, director of the San Francisco State University Family Acceptance Project, received the Mary Smith Arnold Anti-Opression Award from the Counselors for Social Justice.

Counselors for Social Justice is a branch of the ACA.

Ryan’s organization works to decrease suicide, drug abuse and other major health risks among LBGT youth. Ryan was also the author of the first comprehensive guide on LGBT youth care.

“Her research influenced a lot of what I did, as far as career development went,” said Jane Reinbeck, associate professor of cousneling, adult, and higher education at Northern Illinois University.

Social workers are committed to fair and equal treatment for all, including LGBT individuals. For more information visit the National Association of Social Workers’ Diversity and Equity web site by clicking here.





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