DEERFIELD, Ill. — The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine issued a new position paper last week to promote what it feels are the best practices to promote the health and well being of LGBT young people who face challenges when coming out and discrimination, the organization said in a press release.
“While the majority of LGBT adolescents are happy and well-adjusted teenagers, many of them can find themselves victims of bullying, discrimination and rejection from both their friends and families,” Dr. David Reitman, an adolescent medicine specialist in Washington and lead author of the position paper, said in the release. “This position statement is designed to provide practitioners, educators and policy makers a framework for how to best provide care and develop policies which will help sexual minority youth reach their full potential as adults. As the leading organization dedicated to the health of adolescents, it is important and significant that SAHM has taken a strong stand on the unique issues affecting the adolescent LGBT population.”
Several recommendations were covered including considering the origins of high-risk behaviors, understanding that sexual orientation and gender identity are still being figured out by many young people, family connectedness and support are important components to their overall well being and LGBT youth have higher risks of depression and suicide, bullying and victimization, the press release said.