LGBT Youth Mental Health
•Individuals who hold minority status (including LGBT identities) experience daily stressors above and beyond the day-to-day stressors that majority identities experiences.
•These stressors result from oppression within our society
•The intensity of these stressors targeted at LGBT Youth can range from verbal and behavioral indignities (whether intentional or not) to physical violence or even death.
•According to the 2013 National School Climate Survey, 65% of LGBT students heard homophobic remarks like “fag” or “dyke” frequently, 30% missed at least one day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable, and 85% were verbally harassed in the past year.
•Due to the nature of our society and the unfair treatment of LGBT Youth, these individuals are at risk for suicide, self-harm, homelessness, discrimination, and other challenges.
•These factors put LGBT youth at a significantly higher rate of mental health issues than their heterosexual peers.
•Promote the welfare of clients and avoid harm (A.1.a., A.4.a., Standard 1, 1.01, A.1.a, A.1.e)
•Avoid imposing their own attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Respect the diversity of client and seek training in areas in which they are at risk of imposing their values onto clients, especially when the counselor’s values are inconsistent with the client’s goals or are discriminatory in nature. Counselors do not exploit others to further their own personal, religious, political, or business interests. (A.4.b., 1.7, 1.06(b), A.1.c, E.2.a)
•Counselors do not condone or engage in discrimination based on age, culture, disability, ethnicity, race, religion/spirituality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/partnership status, etc. (C.5., 1.1, 4.02,E.2.c)
•Counselors take special care with diagnosis/ evaluation to be fair and accurate. They take steps to be aware of conflicts of interest, cultural differences, biases, and prejudices. (E.5.c., E.8., 7.1, 7.2, 5.02(n)(o),A.9.(e)(f)(g))
•Counselors will seek special training in their field, keep current with emerging knowledge, and develop new skills to maintain competency (C.2.a., C.2.f., 3.1, 3.6, 1.04(b), 4.01(b), 5.02(c), E.1.(d)(g), A.6.e)
•Respect the client‘s right to autonomy and self-determinism. (A.1.c., 1.8, 1.02, A.2.e)
•Do not abandon or neglect clients in counseling. Counselors assist in making appropriate arrangements for the continuation of treatment when neccessary, during interruptions, and following termination. (A.12, 1.11, 1.16(b), A.5.(a)(b))
•Be knowledgeable of the Ethical Codes. (C.1, 3.2, 3.09(c), 5.01(b), A.1.d, F.2.c)
•Seek professional assistance/ consultation for issues that may impair work performance or clinical judgment. (C.2.d, I.2.c, 3.3, 1.04(c), 2.05(a), E.1.f)
•Counselors do not harass or exploit clients or anyone else in their professional relationships. (C.6.d., 3.7, 3.8, 1.06(b), C.1.(a)(b), A.1.a)
When appropriate, counselors advocate at individual, group, institutional, and societal levels to address potential barriers and obstacles that inhibit access and/or the growth and development of clients. Especially for vulnerable, disadvantaged, oppressed, and exploited people and groups. They will take special care when sharing opinions publicly because of their ability to influence the lives of others. (A.7.a., 3.11, 5.01(c), 6.01, 6.04(a)(b)(c)(d), D.1.d, E.2.(d)(g), F.4)
One of the most important ethical mandates of counselors is to advocate on the behalf of their clients; especially those who are disadvantaged in society.
Faith in America will be actively engaged in advocating on behalf of both ethical competence on the part of mental health professionals and the LGBT community as it defends them against those mental health professionals who willfully violate their ethical and legal mandates in working with LGBT individuals. Faith in America shall pursue a zero tolerance policy against those mental health professionals who ignore their ethical and legal mandates, and under the direction of renowned legal experts, LGBT activists and Faith in America board members Shannon Minter and Roberta Kaplan, will seek recourse with state boards and applicable law agencies when LGBT individuals have been harmed.