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Mental Health and Wellbeing
Youth are educated and supported in their mental wellbeing in these workshops. Services focus primarily on the emotional and social well-being of the LGBTQ2S+ youth, with the goal of assisting the youth in coping with their mental health, encouraging positive mental health, and learning varied and impactful coping strategies.
Youth are provided with the critical tools to learn how to deal with their personal struggles, cope with mental illness, and mental health issues while being empowered in a fun, encouraging, and safe space. Past activities have included Chakra balancing with the use of crystals, yoga classes, and smudging sessions.
OUTLoud North Bay is a place that the community of North Bay has needed for a long time, and I’m so happy to know that it has become a safe place for our youth to feel at home and supported. They are the kindest folks that you’ll ever meet, and would give you the shirt off their backs. Can’t find better than them.
Harm Reduction and Coping Strategies
LGBTQ2S+ youth are a group that has been identified as being at greater risk of substance use/abuse and associated problems due to stressors in their lives and/or weakened resilience.
These workshops aim to stimulate discussions that lead to youth friendly strategies covering general topics such as drugs/alcohol and their use, blood-borne illnesses, STIs, health, and lifestyle issues.
Volunteers listen to the youth and facilitate their participation.
The suicide prevention workshops provide the youth with ways to talk about suicide safely and effectively while supporting their well-being. Safe discussions about suicide are a critical part in protecting the health and safety of individuals at risk. Youth will learn to identify their own personal strategies for self-care, and identify sources of support in their own environment. Youth will be provided with lists of available resources which are specifically designed to address the mental health needs of the LGBTQ2S+ youth.
Social Media is discussed as a vitally important resource for expanding public conversations about the well-being of LGBTQ2S+ youth, promoting the need for support and acceptance, and encouraging help-seeking by youth who may be contemplating suicide. Social media can also elevate risks associated with unsafe media discussions about suicide, can quickly spread misinformation about a suicide death or endanger at-risk individuals who may be contemplating suicide.
Therefore, it is key that this too be part of the conversation and that youth are shown how to engage with social media in a positive and affirming manner.