Discussion Summary: LGBTQ+ Youth and the Power of Belonging

In 2023, the Surgeon General released a new advisory sounding the alarm on the public health crisis of loneliness and social isolation. People who lack social connections face significantly higher risks of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and even premature death.

These statistics are especially concerning for LGBTQ+ communities who have endure higher rates of social isolation. Yet generations of LGBTQ+ leaders have also pioneered ways to fight isolation: found family, intergenerational spaces, underground networks.

In October, Eidos hosted a panel discussion on the power of belonging for LGBTQ+ youth. Senior Director Jessica Halem spoke with experts from research, design, and community organizing to explore how we can support social connections for our youth.

PANELISTS:

Desmond Upton Patton, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, SAFELab
Patton studies the impact social media has on well-being, mental health, trauma, violence and grief for youth and adults of color.

Joshua Lavra, Creative Lead, Hopelab
Lavra is a creative lead at Hopelab, creating science-backed mental health and wellbeing tools with LGBTQ+ and BIPoC communities.

Jasper Liem, Executive Director, Attic Youth Center
Liem, LCSW, is the Executive Director of the Attic, a youth center offering a wide range of programs and services designed to provide LGBTQ+ youth with the support and skills needed to transition into independent, thriving adults.

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