Free weekly LGBTQIA+ support group starts Monday in Heber

Weekly support group meetings begin Monday afternoons at Purple Sky Counseling, and attendance is free. From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. then and every Monday thereafter, teenagers who identify with the LGBTQIA community or who are questioning their identity can meet to discuss. LGBTQIA stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual.

“It will help LGBTQIA teens to make new friends and receive support from their peers, but also from therapists in training on how to deal with the emotions of being gay in Utah, or how to explore being trans or gender non-binary in Utah.” says Cassidy DuHadway, Founder and Owner of Purple Sky. “They will talk about and explore different skills that have worked for different people, like different coping skills, then how to use them in your life, but also lots of space for kids to create and have discussion around the things they struggle with as well.

DuHadway says the ideal group size will be eight to 10, but more would be welcome. Group members will set their own rules and expectations during the first meetings.

The weekly meetings will last at least until the end of the school year, then until the summer if the group wishes.

“One of the things that we’ve discovered as therapists at Heber is that there’s actually a very large population of young LGBTQIA people, and that’s usually hidden,” DuHadway says. “Everyone feels extremely alone and everyone is extremely scared of being seen in our community in different ways for different reasons. So we really wanted to give a space where these struggling humans who can come and learn and start to trust and begin to be seen in a safer way, no matter what is happening to them at home or at school.

The therapists in training who organize the meetings and guide the conversations are a clinical social worker and an intern.

Participants under the age of 18 need parental consent to participate.

To learn more about how to register, email [email protected] or visit purpleskycounseling.com.

Virginia S. Braud