GLSEN:Supporting Safe and Healthy Schools for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Students

Supporting Safe and Healthy Schools for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Students provides insight into the work of school-based mental health professionals’ – counselors, psychologists, and social workers – to support LGBTQ youth, as well as barriers they face to supporting them.

This report from GLSEN, in Partnership with the American Council for School Social Work (ACSSW) American School Counselor Association (ASCA) School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA). Supporting Safe and Healthy Schools is the latest example of GLSEN’s evidence-driven approach to understanding the dimensions and impact of LGBTQ issues in K-12 schools, and identifying the most promising avenues for an effective response. Focusing on the perspectives, preparation, and practices of school-based mental health professionals (SMHPs), this study builds on our past work examining school climate and effective school-based supports from the perspective of parents, principals, teachers, the general student population, and LGBTQ students themselves. Conducted in partnership with the American Council for School Social Work (ACSSW), the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), and the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA), this new study identifies a critical challenge and significant opportunity: SMHPs as a sector are ready and willing to support the LGBTQ students in their school communities. However, they do not receive the pre-service training or in-service professional development to support them in fulfilling that responsibility with great confidence or in ways that would do the most to promote the health of the entire school community. 

For NYS resources on supporting LGBT youth - visit our LGBT Resource page on this website.