LGBTQ TEEN GROUP
The mission of Megan's Rainbow is to provide a safe space for LGBTQ teens to interact with peers, share coping skills, and enhance their understanding of self and others. Our goals is to foster resiliency and healthy choices within the individual while promoting unity within our community.
Free group session for middle school and high school LGBTQ students.
Parent/guardian permission is required.
1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.
Brentwood Christian Church
1900 East Barataria
Springfield, MO 65804
Through a variety of therapeutic and expressive arts activities, group participants are offered an opportunity to do the following:
- Develop health coping mechanisms
- Develop interpersonal and group process skills
- Develop effective communication skills
- Develop and express throughts and feelings through writing and journaling
- Develop an awareness and gain insights into interactions between self and others
- Develop improved self-awareness and self-acceptance
Reasons for the overwhelming need for LGBTQ group
- 42% of LGBTQ people in the United States report living in an unwelcoming environment.
- 80% of gay and lesbian youth report severe social isolation.
- 84% of LGBTQ youth report sexual harassment at school based on their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.
- LGBTQ teens are six times more likely to experience symptoms of depression.
- Six in 10 LGBTQ students report feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation.
- Twenty-five to 40% of the youth who become homeless each year are LGBTQ.
- Suicide is the leading cause of death in the LGBTQ community in the 10-24 age group.
- LGBTQ youth are four times more likely and questioning youth are three times more likely to attempt suicide, experience suicidal thoughts or engage in self harm.
- Between 38 and 65% of transgender individuals experience suicidal ideation.
- The LGBTQ community reports a higher rate of drugs, alcohol and tobacco use.
Sources: NAMI, DoSomething.org, Project Q, US Census Data 2015
Brian Vega, LPC
Brian C. Vega is a licensed professional counselor who is certified in civil and family mediation. He has been an instructor in the graduate counseling program at Missouri State University, a high school counselor, a middle school counselor, and has facilitated groups for transgender individuals, parents, the juvenile system, grief, and LGBTQ issues. Vega has worked for the Springfield Public School system for 17 years and has practiced private practice therapy at Counseling Solutions for over ten years. In that time, Vega has had extensive experience working with the LGBTQ community of the Ozarks.
Margaret Skidmore, LPC
Margaret Skidmore is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in adolescents and has had extensive experience working with the LGBTQ community. She is the counselor at Study High School (formerly Bailey Alternative High School) where she has worked with youth for 21 years. In addition to her work with individual students at Study, she also facilitates teen parenting groups, relationship groups, life groups, and was Group Coordinator at Lost & Found for six years. Skidmore has been in private practice at Counseling Solutions for seven years, providing therapy for individuals, couples and families.
Megan Jennifer Cramer (born 1966) was a poet, writer, attorney and social activist. She graduated from Parview High School and as an undergraduate at the University of Missouri at Kansas City helped found the existing chapter of the UMKC Lesbian and Gay Student Group over 20 years ago. She subsequently earned a Juris Doctor at the UMKC School of Law.
Megan died on February 19, 2013 in a natural gas explosion that destroyed JJ's, a landmark eatery just off the Plaza in Kansas City, MO. Megan's family is sponsoring this free group in loving memory of her in order to provide support and encouragement for LGBTQ teens in Megan's hometown of Springfield.