Jewish Child & Family Services is putting together a support group called, Queer Teens Connect for teens ages 15-17 who identify as LGBTQ+. The purpose of this group is to provide a safe and constructive space to explore the issues confronting teens in the context of healthy peer relationships. In this group, members can explore the issues most pressing to them, as well as themes such as:
- Navigating and understanding identity
- Family relationships
- Peer relationships (dating, friendship, bullying, etc.)
- Religion and spirituality
- Community life and resources
Queer Teens Connect will also work to help members identify and access crucial sources of support in their lives. LGBTQ+ teens are at higher risk for anxiety, depression, social isolation and violence due to the negative attitudes of society. In addition many teens internalize society's stigma and shame, complicating their developing self-identity. A sense of belonging and inclusion, nurtured through healthy family and peer relationships and community engagement, are vital support for youth who identify as LGBTQ+.
“A goal of this group is to share members' lived experiences with their own sexual orientation and gender identity with many areas of life, including sense of self, familial connections, peer relationships, and spiritual/cultural identity,” says JCFS Clinician Crystal Thomas, MA, and creator of Queer Teens Connect. "This group will be structured to help members highlight these issues and to provide support to one another in coping with them.”
Queer Teens Connect will meet weekly on Thursdays from 7-8pm for 6 sessions at our Northbrook location: Elaine Kersten Children's Center, 255 Revere Drive, Suite 200, Northbrook, IL 60062.
$240/series (scholarships available)
If you are interested in registering or require more information, contact Crystal Thomas or call 224.625.2706.
Download the flyer
LGBTQ+ Young Teen Group
Response Center is also offering a support group serving LGBTQ+ youth in grades 6-8. This group will focus on building community and supportive connections, as well as improving self-esteem and developing coping skills to manage the specific challenges LGBTQ+ youth face. The group will run for one-hour sessions weekly, for 8 weeks beginning in mid-February. Teens, parents, or individuals with referrals for the group should contact Lili Gecker at 773.516.5504 to schedule an intake or for more details.
Where: Response Center for Teens, 3033 W. Touhy Ave., Chicago, IL 60645
Co-facilitated by Osunkemi Mau.