Child & Family Center officials announced new LGBTQ+ groups for teens and parents starting in September.
The groups are free and open to the community, and aimed at providing support, education and discussion. The groups will first meet on the third week of September, said Waldron.
“We are starting slow with these two groups — depending on the response of the community, we will expand,” said Christine Waldron, clinical supervisor and group development coordinator for the Child and Family Center.
“I think it’s absolutely fantastic. It is very similar to the mission of PFLAG,” said Peggy Stabile, co-founder of PFLAG Santa Clarita. “The more people who are trying to help the marginalized LBGTQ+ community, the better it is going to be for our youth.”
Stabile started the PFLAG Santa Clarita chapter to raise awareness and educate the community about gay children. It all started 30 years ago when she wanted to help her son, Jeff Stabile Jr.
The “Parenting with Pride” group is an emotional support group for parents with children in the LGBTQ+ community. The group will meet 6-7 p.m. Mondays for six weeks beginning Sept. 16.
“Studies show that one of the key factors in reducing suicide and other mental health concerns in the LGBTQ+ community is an increase in parental support and understanding,” according to a Child and Family Center news release.
The group for teens will discuss topics including psychological ramifications of being LGBTQ+, including depression or feeling suicidal, the coming out process, empowerment and more, according to the Child and Family Center’s press release issued Friday.
The “Youth Pride Project” group is for teens ages 13-17. The group is scheduled to meet Thursdays from 4-5 p.m.
The six-week group is meant to provide support and education to help teens navigate the many feelings associated with sexual orientation.
“The center is committed to being a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies,” Cheryl Jones, vice president of marketing and community outreach for the center, said in a news release.