The LGBT Community Center of the Desert offers a classroom lesson developed by Dr. Jill Gover, which uses a structured, age-appropriate curriculum taught by trained facilitators to address the impact of language on LGBTQ youth, cyber-bullying, and suicide prevention. This program is available free of charge to school districts in Coachella Valley.
Dr. Gover developed this lesson in response to an unmet need in the PSUSD for suicide prevention education with specific messaging about what it means to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ). Creating safer schools for LGBTQ young people and providing students with the necessary skills to aid a friend in a time of a suicidal crisis is integral to The Center’s mission of saving young lives. Through this partnership with PSUSD, we are able to bring this important curriculum to each ninth grader in the district's four high schools: Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage and Desert Hot Springs - nearly 2,000 students in total.
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center estimates that between 30 to 40% of LGBTQ youth have attempted suicide. A U.S. government study found that LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than other young people.
This innovative and unique project is an attempt to change the school culture to make it a more welcoming place for LGBTQ students, which will reduce the stress and anxiety caused by bullying, and subsequently reduce self-harming behaviors among all students