The Jed Foundation (JED) and The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals have collaborated to release a new report with a series of recommendations to guide individuals and institutions on ways to strengthen programs and services to better support LGBTQ+ students in high school, college, or university.
LGBTQ+ students are more at risk for negative health and academic outcomes, and JED has found through its research that most schools do not have effective or intersectional practices in place that best support LGBTQ+ students.
The report recognizes the importance of Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) on campus to cultivate relationships and build community on campus, which can help keep at-risk students enrolled. Barriers to accessing counseling is often related to a fear of being outed or parents finding out. LGBTQ+ scholarship and topics are not covered frequently in classrooms, and many LGBTQ+ students felt culturally isolated in heterosexist, monosexist, and cissexist environments. Counselors and administrators do not feel they have received enough training to support the needs of LGBTQ+ students.
“We are thrilled to share practical and action-oriented strategies that schools can use to support the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ+ young people during this critical time in their lives when they need as much support and affirmation as possible,” said Dr. Sofia Pertuz, JED senior advisor.