During Pride Month, we honor the LGBTQIA+ community, its history, and its ongoing struggle for equality. It’s also an opportunity to shed light on the challenges faced by queer youth, particularly in terms of mental health support.
Here at Flourish Labs, we are passionately committed to diversity – most importantly, we are big believers in the power of shared lived experiences. So when we developed peers.net, a platform offering online peer support to individuals aged 18-30, we knew we wanted to connect those in need with someone who is not only trained to provide them with emotional support, but also *truly* understands what they are going through.
Many young people, myself included, have navigated their journey of coming out and living openly (or not) without the guidance and understanding they desperately needed.
Growing up as an LGBTQIA+ individual can be an isolating experience, especially when the necessary mental health support is lacking. It is crucial to acknowledge the significance of support tailored to the very specific needs of this incredibly rich and diverse community.
Here at Flourish Labs, we recognized this need from the very start – so we consciously made it a priority when developing peers.net. To ensure representation, a few months back we set an internal hiring goal to ensure that 50%+ of our trained peer supporters identify as LGBTQIA+.
And today, I’m excited to announce we have met our goal and continue to make that a goal for each new cohort of peer supporters. We have an amazing group of queer Peer Supporters ready to listen, help, lift up and connect this underserved population with the right resources they need to heal – and to flourish. To celebrate this milestone, and cognizant of the fact that seeking and getting support can often be especially challenging for the queer community, we will be offering free peer support sessions to any & all LGBTQIA+ youth until August 31st.
Our strong commitment to representation is aimed at ensuring that those needing support can easily connect with someone who understands their experiences intimately. This alone can create a safe and empathetic space for discussing mental health concerns. As Flourish Lab’s Head of People, and as a fellow queer individual, I am truly proud to be leading this initiative – and I hope many young LGBTQIA+ individuals will take advantage of this opportunity to access the qualified support they so deeply need and deserve. For free.
So let’s celebrate Pride by encouraging the wonderful queer community to prioritize their well-being. Together, we can increase a more inclusive and supportive society for all.