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Goal Statement: For this project, my goal is to have a better understanding of the issues rural LGBTQ+ youth face and identify resources and a plan that can lead to the recognition and prevention of LGBTQ+ depression and suicide.

Significant Findings: The LGBTQ+ youth population within rural Minnesota faces mental health challenges, discrimination within the community and schools, and parental support issues (Trevor Project, 2021; Reisner et al., 2020). This population also has multiple barriers to quality care, supportive resources, and access to an accepting community (Israel, Willging, & Ley, 2016). Due to these socio-ecological aspects, LGBTQ+ youth who live in rural Minnesota are more likely to commit suicide. As there are relevant barriers and issues within each level of society and being that suicide is fatal, prevention methods are necessary.

Objectives/Strategies/Interventions/Next Steps: One evidence-based method is the Hope Squad, which uses peer-to-peer relationships and training peer leaders to recognize mental health crises, build connectedness, and help youth within the school gain self-efficacy skills to ask for help (Hope Squad, 2023). Social change is also needed by having inclusive churches or religious spaces, and community psychoeducation on the LGBTQ+ populations. Professionals can also advocate for school staff to be trained on LGBTQ+ and multicultural competencies (Reisner et al., 2020). Similarly, professionals can advocate for other helping professionals to be trained on multicultural and LGBTQ+ topics, so when clients do need help they are provided quality care that is knowledgeable.