On behalf of the entire SMYAL family, we are saddened and moved by the story of Jamel Myles – a 9-year-old boy in Denver, Colorado who died by suicide days after telling classmates he was gay.
LGBTQ youth face higher rates of depression, bullying, isolation, and suicide due to the discrimination they experience in many facets of their daily lives. SMYAL works to ensure that LGBTQ youth in the Metro DC area have safe spaces to be their authentic selves.
One of these safe spaces is our Youth Center located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. This center is home to an array of youth programs including weekly support, discussion groups, advocacy and recreational events, and community service projects. Our staff and volunteers offer youth the support they need to make informed decisions about their health, sexual activity, drug and alcohol abuse, anger management, and violence prevention. LGBTQ students in the DC Metro area are encouraged to participate in our after-school programs in the Youth Center on Tuesdays-Fridays from 4-7pm. More information about how to access support is at https://www.smyal.org/need-support.
SMYAL also works has several school-based programs in DC, MD, and VA to help make classrooms safer for LGBTQ youth. To engage with a SMYAL staff person, contact Adalphie Johnson here.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts and depression, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
We are saddened and moved by the story of Jamel Myles of Denver, Colorado, who died by suicide a few days after telling his classmates he was gay. Recent studies show that nearly 84% of LGBTQ youth have reported being verbally harassed, and 40% reported being physically attacked because of their sexual orientation. These statistics reinforce the need for safe spaces where LGBTQ youth can feel supported and empowered to be their authentic selves. If you or a young person you know is in need of support, contact SMYAL today.
We are saddened and moved by the story of Jamel Myles, who died by suicide days after telling his classmates he was gay. The #bullying of #LGBTQ youth in schools is a widespread problem that deserves national attention and action.
If you or a young person you know is in need of support, contact SMYAL today. For support with suicidal thoughts or depression, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. https://www.smyal.org/need-support