Holly's post discussing the rash of suicides related to bullying and cyberbullying, especially those involving teens that identify as gay, or are perceived by their peers to be gay, included some excellent resources. It also got us talking about the resources available locally. The three organizations listed below are local to Tacoma and the Puget Sound region. We encourage you to pass this information on to anyone who may benefit from it. I have worked with all three organizations as a volunteer and have seen first hand the benefits they provide to young people as well as the families and teachers who work with them.
Oasis Youth Center is a confidential drop-in center and resource for Pierce County youth ages 14 to 24 who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning. You can contact the center for more information. Volunteer opportunities are available and the center is always looking for support from adult allies.
The Rainbow Center is located in downtown Tacoma. It is a community resource for Tacoma and Pierce County lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people as well as their allies. The Rainbow Center provides meeting space, referrals, resources and information.
The Safe Schools Coalition started as a Washington State resource for students and teachers who needed help fighting back against bullies and intimidation in school. Today the organization has gone national. It works with state educational agencies to create safer environments in school for all students and its website contains a wealth of information for parents, teachers and students. You can sign up for a number of different email alerts that will keep you up-to-date with current events and issues related to safe schools.
Links to more local resources can be found in a list on the right side of our blog. If you are aware of other great resources out there, let us know by replying to this post.