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Family Support is a Lifesaver for LGBT Youth

E.J. Plata (left), who is gay, said gaining acceptance from his parents help him address problems with drinking and depression. His parents later started a youth outreach group to help other parents with LGBT children. Photo courtesy of the Family Acceptance Project.

Getting love and support from family literally saves the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, according to a new study from the Family Acceptance Project.

Youth who gain family acceptance are less likely to have depression, substance abuse problems and suicidal behavior in early adulthood, the study said.

Social worker Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, is director of the San Francisco-based Family Acceptance Center and lead author of the study.

“At a time when media and families are becoming acutely aware of the risk that many LGBT youth experience, our findings that family acceptance protects against suicidal thoughts and behaviors, depression and substance abuse offer a gateway of hope for LGBT youth and families that struggle with how to handle deeply held personal and religious values with love for their LGBT children,” Ryan said in a press release.

To read more on a press release on the study click here. ABC also ran an online article that cites the study. To read that click here. NASW also supports equal treatment for all, including members of the LGBT community. To find out more click here to visit the association’s Diversity and Equity Web page.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing! We need more research on this population.

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