ROSMY To Provide Youth Suicide Prevention Training in Thursday Afternoon Program
Studies have shown LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than their peers. In response to these alarming numbers, local organization ROSMY is offering a suicide prevention training class on Thursday June, 12th 4-6 PM.
The class is the second time the organization has tackled this complicated issue here in Richmond, and it is being offered for free to the community through a grant funded program from the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation.
“LGBTQ youth are at much greater risk of suicide than their peers. So about a year ago we realized the need for significant programing around suicide prevention,” said Beth Panilaitis, Executive Director of ROSMY.
ROSMY, founded in 1991, is Central Virginia’s leading organization in the LGBTQ community. The group works to provide equal opportunity for success to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
“For over 20 years ROSMY has filled a critical gap in the social service network in the greater richmond area. There isn’t another organization around addressing the specific needs of LGBTQ youth,” said Panilaitis “Through both our direct services and support groups providing a safe space for youth, combined with our training program, I think we have been able to have an impact on making the community safer for LGBTQ youth.”
The class on Thursday is a part of the groups Institute for Equality training program.
The Institute for Equality Program operates throughout the Central Virginia area, offering training for human service providers and school personnel. The program aims to help care-givers learn how to effectively work with openly LGBT and questioning youth.
The group uses both direct services and support groups to provide a safe environment for LGBTQ teens. With the addition of the suicide prevention classes to the program, Panilaitis feels that the group is making a strong impact for making the community safer. “We cover a whole range of things like; accurate and respectful terminology, bullying, best practices, and this is an additional program we can offer through that,” said Panilaitis.
Specifically, the class on Thursday will include terminology for suicidal behavior and LGBTQ issues, as well as risk factors for LGBTQ youth. Attending the classes will provide individuals with the tools to assess their organization and plan next steps.
Panailatis also says that the seminars will provide scenarios and hands on activities to develop strategies to help reduce suicidal behavior among LGBTQ youth.
In addition to classes provided at the ROSMY youth center, the Institute for Equality also travels to different community agencies and work organizations to provide training. “If people are interested in the training we are happy to be able to come and to provide it,” said Panilaitis.
The class on Thursday will be held at the ROSMY youth center, 2311 Westwood Ave, from 4-6 p.m. It is an open event to the public, with space still available for individuals interested in attending. Please RSVP to Charles Dyson at 804-644-4800
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