Building the resiliency of LGBTQ youth and strengthening Gay Straight Alliance Clubs
The SFMC’s New Mexico Gay Straight Alliance Network (NMGSAN) is a youth-driven program to prevent bullying, suicide, and substance abuse. The NMGSAN builds resiliency, positive identity development, self-efficacy, mental health and empowerment of LGBTQ youth through peer training, peer support, and leadership development. Services provided by the NMGSAN fall into six main categories:
- Youth Events –Nine annual events (five are overnight retreats) to build resiliency and leadership skills, including peer-led trainings on identity, social justice/oppression, healthy relationships, political and advocacy education, social networking and peer helping skills.
- GSA Club Support –Support for school and community based GSAs and to build the capacity of youth leaders to create safer environments in schools and make positive social change and provide a variety of resources. NMGSAN’s support, GSA clubs in New Mexico have risen from 12 in 2005 to 45 in 2014.
- Education and Awareness Campaigns – Facilitate and promote participation in national campaigns to raise awareness and educate school communities to reduce the stigma associated with identifying as LGBTQ and create safer school climates.
- Adult Trainings – Educational trainings for providers, school staff, counselors, and community members in schools, community organizations, and at local and national conferences on the risk and protective factors for LGBTQ youth. Also assists in the creation and ongoing development of Safe Zones programs and provides presentations to community groups and organizations.
- Networking – Opportunities for LGBTQ youth to connect with other LGBTQ youth through social media networking such as Facebook, Twitter, and the NMGSAN website.
- Advocacy – Policy advocacy at the school, district and state level to create safer school environments for all students, especially around issues of bullying, sexual orientation and gender identity.
For more information about NM GSA Network, please contact:
NM GSA Network Program Manager
Office: (505) 983-6158 x30
Cell: (505) 660-7540