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Join us for a Family Acceptance Project® Faith Leader Training

Helping Faith Communities & Families Support LGBTQ Youth

Tuesday, June 29 – 9 am-2:30 pm Pacific Time

Hosted by Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services and NAMI – Santa Clara County Faith Net


Dr. Caitlin Ryan is a clinical social worker and researcher who has worked on LGBTQ health and mental health for more than 40 years, with a focus on children, youth and families. As the Director of the Family Acceptance Project, she has developed the first evidence-based family support approach to prevent major health risks and to increase family support and wellness for LGBTQ young people. Her work has been recognized by many national professional groups in the fields of counseling, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, psychology and social work, and by civic, advocacy, arts and faith-based groups. She has provided education and training for nearly 100,000 families, providers and religious leaders on this work across the U.S. and in other countries and works with religious leaders and pastoral counselors from a wide range of religious backgrounds to carry out this work.


• Discuss the role of family support and rejection on risk and well-being for LGBTQ youth.

• Describe specific family behaviors that contribute to increased health risks
for LGBTQ youth, including suicide, depression, substance abuse, homelessness and removal from the home, and family behaviors that help protect against risk and promote well-being.

• Discuss Family Acceptance Project® (FAP) approaches to engage families and to guide religious leaders in helping parents and families to decrease rejection and risk and to increase family support and well-being for LGBTQ young people.

• Identify one to three specific ways to implement this information in ministry and pastoral care.

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Critical research from the university-based Family Acceptance Project (FAP) has shown that families have a compelling impact on risk and well- being—including suicidal behavior, illegal drug use and homelessness, as well as on self-esteem, general health and positive development—for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified (LGBTQ) youth. Based on this research, Dr. Caitlin Ryan and her team at the Family Acceptance Project have developed the first evidence-based family support approach to help prevent suicide and homelessness and to support positive development for LGBTQ young people—in the context of their families, cultures and faith communities.

As part of this work, Dr. Ryan has helped many agencies and institutions— including religious denominations and congregations—to provide education and pastoral care that is informed by this critical research and helps families to reduce serious health risks in the context of their religious and cultural values. This session will provide guidance to help faith leaders to support families with LGBTQ children to reduce serious health risks and keep families together.

Download the flyer in pdf here: FAP_NAMIFaithNet Training 6.29.21-rv-us