Donation Creates Crucial LGBTQ+ Youth Services Across Rural Wellington
A donation to Family Counselling and Support Services for Guelph-Wellington (FCSSGW) from 100 Women Who Care Rural Wellington (100WWCRW) will fund the development and delivery of programming to meet the needs of youth who identify as LGBTQ+ across rural Wellington County.
Currently, there is no funded therapy for youth who identify as LGBTQ+ as well as little in terms of available services. The donation will enable FCSSGW to develop pilot programming to serve this demographic in partnership with the Youth Hub in Fergus and the Upper Grand District School Board. It is expected to start in the fall of 2021.
“LGBTQ+ youth have a heightened risk of suicide and self-harm,” said FCSSGW executive director Joanne Young Evans. “The services that this joint project will create are lifesaving to the young people living in these rural communities without access to this specialized type of support.”
Somer Antonopoulos added on behalf of 100WWCRW, “Now more than ever, FCSSGW is essential to these rural regions. Rising mental health concerns attributed to isolation and COVID-19 is a sad reality but having an easily accessible place for people to get help and tools is a game changer.”
In conjunction with the new program, LGBTQ+ youth and all residents can access free same-day mental-health clinics that run Mondays in Mount Forest and Thursdays in Fergus. A same-day clinic also runs Wednesdays in Guelph with fees based on a sliding scale. Additionally, FCSSGW operates a free, anonymous, and confidential Distress Line that is available to all Wellington County and area residents seven days a week.
“Without the generosity of this amazing group of women, marginalized LGBTQ+ youth could face a much different outcome. We cannot thank 100WWCRW enough for recognizing how this project can alter the trajectory of this demographic and actually save lives throughout the county,” concluded Young Evans. FCSSGW hopes to secure more funding to continue addressing this critical need in the community.
For more information about 100WWCRW, visit 100wwcrw.com.