The 20th century brought America legal acceptance and equality for races and genders that had suffered from social Youth1stigma for centuries.  Now, the movement for LGBTQ acceptance and understanding has swept across America.  Mental Health America is one organization that hopes, in part, to aid the public through the provision of support and information for and about LGBTQ persons.  Their upcoming LGBTQ awareness training will be “a fun, highly interactive and safe environment for adressing… everything you always wanted to know about LGBTQ but were afraid to ask.” (Mental Health America of Northern California)

According to, 42% of LGBTQ youth say their community is not accepting of LGBTQ people, and 92% of LGBTQ youth hear negative messages about being LGBTQ.  Mental Health America of Northern California provides information vital to understanding the LGBTQ orientation.

20120409124727“Mental Health America of Northern California (MHANCA) is dedicated to improving the lives of residents in the diverse communities of Northern California,” says Nicole Scanlan, LGBTQ Project Coordinator. “We provide peer services that foster recovery, reduce stigma and discrimination, and improve cultural competency through self-help, education, and culturally relevant research.  We do not ask participants to change their belief or value systems, but rather to be open to the possibility that one can provide a safe and affirming environment to LGBTQ youth regardless of belief or value system. ”

The upcoming training will be held at the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office Florin Center Community Room, on May 16th, from 9:30 am to 3 o’clock pm.  Those who work with (LGBTQ) youth, including organizations, providers, and community members, are especially encouraged to attend.  All questions and concerns will be addressed, along with information intended to help participants understand the importance of myths, misconceptions, and welcoming environments for LGBTQ youth.

“For participants who may feel nervous about attending, please know we do everything we can to create a safe and welcoming environment,” Scanlan adds. “No question, comment or concern will be ignored.” 

The training will be held by Poshi Mikalson, MSW, with hopes of reducing stigma toward LGBTQ youth.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Anyone interested in attending must register with Ms. Scanlan at  For questions or special accommodations, call (916) 747.0210.  Or, to learn more about Mental Health of America, click here.