Authored by Maria Drummond, Youth Services Recreation Therapist
The LGBTQ Advocates Committee at Salt Lake County Youth Services is comprised of administrators, youth workers, program coordinators and therapists at Salt Lake County Youth Services. They formed this committee to ensure that LGBTQ youth who come in contact with any Youth Services program, are offered safe, affirmative care. In addition to advocating for youth, the committee participates in staff trainings, informs policies, and organizes support in affirmative activities in the community. It was acting in this capacity when on June 5th 2016 zombies invaded the Utah Pride Parade. These weren’t your run-of-the-mill, out-for-brains, zombies; they each wore the name of a barrier faced by youth in our community such as bullying, homelessness, and substance abuse. Luckily, at the parade as in the community, Salt Lake County Youth Services was ready to combat these barriers. Staff represented services offered by Youth Services such as individual and family therapy, crisis shelter, and substance abuse treatment, among others.
LGBTQ youth in Salt Lake County experience difficulties more frightening than make-believe monsters, while having fewer places in which they can feel safe. Youth Services provides crisis shelter 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to be a safe refuge for LBGTQ youth. Beyond shelter, Youth Services is ready to serve all youth through after school and summer programming, individual and family therapy, and prevention classes. If you know a child or teen facing frightening problems in their life, encourage them to reach out to us at 385-468-4500.