Our Topic Today: The LGBTQ Community and Mental Wellness

Our Guest Today: Melissa DaSilva

Melissa is the creator and host of “Pride Connections” podcast, a weekly LGBTQI show that inspires others to do great things in our world and to connect inspiring LGBTQ community members to each other.

After graduated from Rhode Island College with a focus on School Social work, she has worked for many years in schools creating programs and teaching health. It was at this time she became aware of the needs of LGBTQ students and the staff working with them.  

Wanting to take a step further and create more change in the world, Melissa opened her first business, “East Coast Mental Wellness”, a mental health agency in which she specialized in working with LGBTQ individuals and couples. She uses a holistic approach to therapy, by helping clients to achieve balance and harmony in body-mind-spirit. Some tools include talk therapy, meditation, yoga, pet therapy and art.

She continues to enlighten the lives of many people by offering trainings and workshops to schools and businesses facilitating interaction with LGBTQ individuals.

>> Pride Connections – Melissa’s Show

>> East Coast Wellness Centre – Melissa’s Therapy Website

 

You’ll learn:

  • The story behind Pride Month and what LGBTQ stands for
  • What transgender really means
  • Why Melissa has chosen to specialize in the LGBTQ area
  • Whether people under the category of LGBTQ are treated equally
  • The biggest struggle the LGBTQ group are facing and how that influence their emotions and mental health
  • What could be done to protect oneself from emotional problems/suicide issues if s/he is identified as LGBTQ
  • How to cope with stressful situations related to our identities in society
  • How family and friends can support them
  • How Melissa handles LGBTQ cases when they approach her
  • The pivotal things that could help the LGBTQ group lead a happy life
  • What the public can do to show their support and love to the LGBTQ community

 

Words of Wisdom by Melissa DaSilva

It’s not our job to label somebody else. You just identify them as they identify themselves.

Just be you. You don’t have to conform to what people think that you need to do. Just be okay with you if that’s how you’re okay.

Valuable Tips

  • Use appropriate pronouns “they, them, their” until proven differently
  • Use neutral language
  • Micro-aggression is discrimination and eats up people, so be aware of that!
  • Not assume who somebody is and how they identify
  • Find the support network because that will help you get through the difficult times

 

  • As a parent, you can…
    • Start when kids are young to talk about same-gendered couples as if they are couples with different gender
    • Don’t make LGBTQ a topic that is different or to be whispered about
    • Allow kids to express themselves
    • Listen, not judge
    • Keep the conversation open and be supportive

 

Take-away message

  • We are all in ONE BIG FAMILY, so respect one other and appreciate our unique differences.
  • Take pride in yourself, in who you truly are!

 

Resources Mentioned

 

Boys Don’t Cry – a film about the real-life story of Brandon Teena, an American Female-born trans man, who adopts a male identity and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska but falls victim to a brutal crime perpetrated by two male acquaintances.

 

When We Rise – an American docudrama miniseries about the LGBT Rights movement in the United States, beginning with the Stonewall riots in 1969.

 

 

The Genderbread Person – an infographic that helps you visualize and distinguish the differences among gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and sexual orientation

We’re One from The Lion King II movie: Simba’s Pride

Tears of pain, tears of joy

One thing nothing can destroy

Is our pride, deep inside

We are one

We are one, you and I

We are like the earth and sky

One family under the sun

 

Share your thoughts with me in the comment section! I would love hearing from you!

 

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