YOUTH SUPPORT GROUPS
GSSN sponsors two youth support groups: Middle School (generally grades 6-8 *) and High School (grades 9-12). Both are FREE and open to residents of Geauga County and surrounding areas. Groups meet in-person on a monthly basis from Sept through May. Both groups meet at the same time and location, although in separate rooms. Dinner and water are provided by GSSN. Meetings are held on the second Monday from 5:30 – 7:00PM.
Meeting locations are central in the county but not publicized, and change with season and availability. During the summer, park lodges/shelters are reserved for special activities. Siblings and allies/friends are always welcome to attend. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on upcoming groups.
What to Expect
GSSN youth groups provide an open, safe, and accepting environment for youth on the LGBTQ spectrum to share their stories, find similarities, and obtain and provide peer support. You may also just listen, and know that you are not alone. Come to feel comfortable as your true self!
There is no specific curriculum; all are encouraged to suggest and plan activities. Programs and presentations are scheduled for some sessions, such as Equine with horses, art class, and discussions with a licensed counselor. Professionals may occasionally be invited to speak on age-appropriate topics, such as healthy relationships, nicotine, and vaping risks, etc.
Youth Support Groups are strictly CONFIDENTIAL. No sharing of participant names or personal information is allowed unless authorize by a parent. Facilitators will communicate with parents if safety concerns arise. For more information, please read our Privacy Notice on the ABOUT page.
* Middle School Group Only:
- Parental permission is required initially for participants under age 14 and again for any meetings with special topics or presentations.
- A GSSN board member must communicate directly with the parent.
- Parents providing transportation are invited to remain and engage in private conversation with family members of other participants.
These youth groups are exclusive programs of the Geauga SOGI Support Network. Only trusted adults assist in organization and facilitation. Though LGBTQ youth may fear rejection and struggle internally with how they identify, which can lead to distress, anxiety, and depression, this is not considered a mental health disorder, and NO mental health counseling, therapy, or treatment is provided. Support and acceptance with peers in a safe environment can ease the challenges.
ADULT AND PARENT SUPPORT GROUP
GSSN sponsors an in-person periodic support group for LGBTQ adults, and for parents and families of LGBTQ youth. Meetings are scheduled roughly one month in advance, and held at various local facilities.
Upcoming Adult/Parent Group
This group is FREE and open to residents of Geauga County and surrounding areas. Previous attendees should receive an email invite. If you do not receive an invite, or are a potential new attendee, please email us at email@example.com to obtain location information. Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you!
What to Expect
This group formed in October 2021 at the request of several parents, and expanded in September 2022 to include LGBTQ adults. It provides an open and respectful environment to give and receive support, and to learn about resources. You will be encouraged, but not pressured, to share your story, your challenges, and your successes.
All attendees are encouraged to support each other wherever they are in their journey. Come to feel comfortable as your true self! We strive to create a welcoming and positive environment where impactful matters of any nature may be raised and discussed – but where specific religious, political, or social agendas are strongly discouraged.
This group is recommended for:
- LGBTQ adults, spouses, and family members
- parents/guardians of an LGBTQ youth or adult
- individuals seeking to engage with others and establish collaborative friendships
- relatives or close friends who may be struggling with acceptance and understanding
The Adult and Parent Support Group is strictly CONFIDENTIAL, which means that no unauthorized sharing of names or personal information is allowed, and no recordings or photos are permitted without prior authorization. For more information, please read our Privacy Notice on the ABOUT page. Professionals may occasionally be invited as guests to speak on relevant topics. Notice of this will be included in the meeting description.