Email signup

Oakton nonprofit launches crisis services to help LGBTQ youth

The Oakton-based nonprofit PRS is adding specialized crisis services for LGBTQ youth (courtesy PRS CrisisLink)

The Oakton-based nonprofit that runs Northern Virginia’s suicide and crisis hotline is now offering mental health services specifically geared toward young, LGBTQ people.

PRS announced yesterday (Thursday) that it’s hiring 40 new crisis workers who have specialized training and experience to handle calls and texts from LGBTQ individuals who are 25 or younger.

The support services are part of the organization’s CrisisLink program, which operates the national, 24-hour 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline for most of Virginia.

“Providing tailored crisis services will help us reach more people and connect them with safer life-saving services and resources that affirm their identities,” PRS CEO Joseph Getch said in a statement. “We now have crisis workers dedicated to this community that have additional training, lived experience, and a dedication to serving individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community. We are proud and eager to provide hope, empathy, and compassion.”

Formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 9-8-8 was established by Congress in 2020 as the nationwide phone number for accessing emergency mental health support. It officially replaced the pre-existing, 10-digit number on July 16, 2022.

The legislation required the new lifeline to have a “mechanism” where LGBTQ youth, minority and rural callers can access specialized services, because those populations are statistically at higher risk of contemplating or dying by suicide.

More than half (52%) of high school students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual or who are questioning their sexual identity reported recently experiencing poor mental health, and 45% had seriously considered suicide within the past year compared to 15% for their heterosexual peers, according to a February report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC report, which examined trends from 2011 to 2021, didn’t address gender identity, but this summer, Denmark released a first-of-its-kind study that found transgender people died by suicide at 3.5 times the rate of the rest of the country’s population.

In Virginia, 43% of LGBTQ youth, including 53% of transgender and nonbinary youth, reported seriously considering suicide in the past year. In addition, 13% of LGBTQ youth, including 17% of trans and nonbinary individuals, attempted suicide in the past year, according to state-level data collected in 2022 by The Trevor Project.

The LGBTQ youth-focused suicide prevention nonprofit attributes those trends to the rejection and discrimination those populations experience in society, especially in a year when lawmakers have introduced hundreds of bills restricting their access to health care, education and other rights.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration rolled out policies in July that direct schools to identify students based on their legal sex and names, though Fairfax County Public Schools has maintained its existing policies that support transgender and gender-expansive students.

“We know these young people face stigma, discrimination, and oppression making reaching out for help and connecting to safe resources incredibly difficult and scary,” Gretch said, noting that PRS is continuing “to evolve our crisis services to meet the needs of different populations.”

Established in 1963, PRS provides therapy, peer support, housing and employment assistance and other behavioral health services, along with its CrisisLink call center, which receives 14,000 calls per month on average, including 4,500 from Northern Virginia.

According to a press release, PRS is one of only four 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline centers in the country to offer chat and texting option to LGBTQ youth in addition to calls.

The LGBTQIA+ service provides several ways to get in touch: text “Q” to 988;  press 3 when prompted while calling 988; or go to 988lifeline.org/chat and check the LGBTQI+ box in the pre-chat survey. These options are designed for anyone under 25 who wants to connect with a trained crisis worker specifically focused on meeting the needs of LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults.

Recent Stories

Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…

A new Burlington store is set to open in Mount Vernon Plaza this summer, according to a spokesperson for Federal Realty. The discount retailer, formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory,…

A home-based golf instruction facility is coming soon to a half-acre of land on 1051 Kelso Road in Great Falls. Next Level Golf — a local golf instruction company —…

Spring is a magical time and Live Fairfax has a list of exciting things to experience around the area this spring!

There’s a reason Well-Paid Maids has hundreds of positive reviews from happy clients in the D.C. area.

The home cleaning company pays cleaners — who are W-2 employees — a living wage starting at $24 an hour. Plus, cleaners are offered benefits, including insurance, 24 paid days off a year, 100% employer-paid commuting costs and more.

Lexi Grant, an operations manager at Well-Paid Maids, said it best: “People deserve their work to be respected and recognized. When that happens, you love what you do, and you create the best results.”

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges? Do stress and anxiety seem to dominate your thoughts? At Peaceful Mind Solutions, we understand that navigating mental health can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Our team of compassionate therapists is here to guide you on your journey toward inner peace and emotional well-being. With a client-centered approach, we tailor our therapy sessions to meet your unique needs and goals. Whether you’re struggling with depression, coping with trauma, or simply seeking personal growth, we provide a safe and supportive space for healing and growth.

Embark on a path of self-discovery with our comprehensive range of therapy services, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, and holistic approaches. Our experienced therapists are dedicated to helping you cultivate resilience, develop coping skills, and foster a greater sense of self-awareness.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Ravel Dance Company presents The Sleeping Beauty at Capital One…

Be transported to the magical kingdom of Princess Aurora, where the wicked Carabosse casts a curse that dooms the Princess and her entire kingdom. Set to the spectacular Tchaikovsky score, this beloved classic will sweep you away with its beauty,

Active Bystander: Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Training

The Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Active Bystander Certification course, also known as Active Bystander, is the premier training program to prepare civilians for how to respond during an intentional violent event and to address life-threatening emergencies.

Similar to FEMA’s

×

Subscribe to our mailing list