In today’s society, LGBTQ+ youth face numerous challenges that can affect their mental and emotional wellbeing. According to research, these youths are overrepresented in unstable housing and foster care, which can lead to issues such as school dysfunction, substance use, and mental health problems. In this blog, we will explore how the $7,500 Believe in Me grant is helping Odyssey Youth Movement support LGBTQ+ youth through ASIST suicide prevention training.
Empowering LGBTQ+ Youth for Over 25 Years: Odyssey Youth Movement’s Impact
The idea for Odyssey was first proposed in 1991 at a meeting of the Spokane Regional Health District, and the first meeting took place in 1992. The following year, Odyssey’s attendance had grown to over 40 participants, and in 1994, the Spokane AIDS Network was awarded a grant from the Pride Foundation to help support Odyssey programs. Thanks to that grant, Odyssey’s first drop-in center opened on the border between downtown and West Central on October 15th, 1994.
Odyssey Youth Movement has continued to provide essential services to LGBTQ+ youth over the years, including mentorship programs, advocacy work, and community outreach.
How Odyssey Youth Movement is Making a Difference for LGBTQ+ Youth
One of Odyssey’s most critical services is their drop-in program, which provides a safe and affirming space for LGBTQ+ youth. Volunteer mentors are the crucial component that allows Odyssey Youth Movement to provide a supportive drop-in space four nights a week to hundreds of LGBTQ+ youth. These volunteers facilitate spaces for youth to check-in, seek resources, and access referrals. They also provide a listening ear and help young people navigate finding affirming medical care.
Odyssey recognizes that a drop-in center cannot be the only space where LGBTQ+ youth feel affirmed. By training volunteers and community partners, they hope to amplify these efforts well beyond one organization to the larger community. This includes providing ASIST suicide prevention and Mental Health First Aid training for their staff and community partners.
The Role of ASIST Suicide Prevention Training in Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop that teaches participants how to recognize when someone may be at risk of suicide and how to work with them to create a plan for their safety. This training has been shown to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts, making it a vital component of any suicide prevention strategy.
The ASIST training provided by the Believe in Me grant will help Odyssey’s staff and community partners become better equipped to identify the warning signs of suicide and intervene when necessary. This training will also help them build connections with LGBTQ+ youth and promote the importance of mental health and wellness.
Addressing Disparities: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth with the Believe in Me Grant
LGBTQ+ youth face numerous disparities that can affect their mental and emotional wellbeing. For example, statistics show that they are overrepresented in unstable housing and foster care. In a 2019 study, researchers found that more youth living in foster care (30.4%) and unstable housing (25.3%) self-identified as LGBTQ than youth in a nationally representative sample (11.2%). These disparities are exacerbated when they live in foster care or unstable housing, leading to poor school functioning, substance use, and mental health problems.
Odyssey Youth Movement’s work continues to be vital in supporting LGBTQ+ youth and reducing these disparities. By providing a safe and affirming space and essential services such as mentorship programs and ASIST suicide prevention training, they are helping to create a brighter future for these youths.
Believe in Me Partnership with Odyssey Youth Movement
The $7,500 Believe in Me grant is a valuable investment in the training and support of Odyssey Youth Movement’s staff and community partners. By funding ASIST suicide prevention training, the grant provides Odyssey Youth Movement with the necessary skills and resources to prevent and intervene in suicide attempts among LGBTQ+ youth. This training will help Odyssey’s staff and community partners better understand the unique challenges facing LGBTQ+ youth and how to provide them with the support they need.
Promoting Inclusivity: The Partnership between Believe in Me and Odyssey Youth Movement
The Believe in Me grant is a significant contribution towards promoting inclusivity for all youth. With this grant, Odyssey can provide better care and resources for LGBTQ+ youth, reducing disparities and promoting inclusivity. The partnership between Believe in Me and Odyssey Youth Movement is a great example of how grants and community support can help organizations that are working towards creating a better future for marginalized youth.
If you are interested in supporting Odyssey Youth Movement’s work, there are many ways to get involved. You can volunteer as a mentor, make a donation, or attend one of our fundraising events. Every contribution helps Odyssey provide essential services to LGBTQ+ youth and reduce disparities in the community.
Take Action: Supporting Odyssey Youth Movement’s Work for LGBTQ+ Youth
The $7,500 Believe in Me grant is a valuable investment in the training and support of Odyssey Youth Movement’s staff and community partners. Through ASIST suicide prevention training, Odyssey can provide better care and resources for LGBTQ+ youth, reducing disparities and promoting inclusivity. With the support of community partners like Believe in Me, Odyssey can continue to provide essential services to LGBTQ+ youth and create a brighter future for marginalized youth.