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Acadia Cares


If a child or adolescent you know is struggling and has come to you for help, you can take steps to assist them achieving a healthy, happy outcome and lifestyle. Below are some important facts about LGBTQ Youth that can help you determine if they may need a higher level of help.

Parents: Responding To Your Child Coming Out To You
  • Remind them that you love them unconditionally
  • Listen and ask open-ended questions (including what their preferred pronouns are for their identity)
  • Take them seriously; don’t call it a “phase” or something they will outgrow
  • Try not to focus on the “why” or possible causes; research continues to show that LGBTQ individuals are born with these identifications, just as heterosexual and cisgender people are
  • Don’t shy away from asking about their safety; ask the important questions about suicidal thoughts or feelings
  • Remind them that they are not alone
  • Commit to finding resources and learning together, as a family
Families, Educators and Providers: Be An Ally
  • Make sure your environment is safe, welcoming and affirming 100% of the time
  • Educate yourself and find resources to keep in your school or work space
  • Make sure your language (even when joking) is respectful and inclusive
  • Watch movies or TV shows with LGBTQ characters on them and keep a dialogue going
  • Be there to answer questions, offer support, or give a shoulder to cry on when needed
  • Display pictures of LGBTQ role models in your classroom and office
  • Offer the youth hope whenever possible
  • Integrate LGBTQ historical figures in your curriculum
  • Don’t make assumptions (asking boys if they have a girlfriend or vice versa)
  • Commit to making your space free from bullying, hate speech, or discrimination
  • Offer to help get a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance or Gender Sexuality Alliance) started in your school
  • Donate to LGBTQ causes if you can, volunteer at your local homeless shelter or offer to take part in your community’s Pride celebration every June
Find out more...

Other videos part of the Acadia Hospital CARES series: For 25 years, Acadia Hospital has been offering a full continuum of mental health services and an exceptional team of providers who offer the care and support you need. Beyond the treatment we provide, however, is our mission of empowering people to improve their lives. We have a strong tradition of outreach and education on youth wellness issues, from our award-winning short dramatic film, The Road Back, to over 15 years of sponsoring Challenge Days at Maine high schools. We also do an extensive amount of public engagements in communities and schools, because we believe that our youth deserve to have the tools necessary for them to grow and succeed; and if they are struggling with mental health issues, we know the sooner they receive professional treatment, the better their long-term results will be.

In keeping with our tradition, we are excited to announce a new video project entitled, Acadia Hospital CARES (Child-Adolescent Resource and Educational Series). Over the coming year we will be highlighting crucial youth mental health and wellness issues, starting with youth suicide. Future videos will follow young people as they address topics such as eating disorders, bullying, anxiety, sexual identity, substance abuse, and resiliency.

The goal of the videos is to provide adults with important, expert information that can be used to keep children and teens safe. We are fortunate to have a number of experts who will be featured in the videos, and they will be providing timely information, along with helpful resources.

Together, we can help to create opportunities for learning and growth, and work as a community to help young people navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of adolescence.

For additional resources go to:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Take our free, confidential mental health screening 
If you are concerned about yourself or about somebody else, please contact:
Maine Crisis Hotline
Crisis Text Line