World AIDS Day: Remembering Lucas

Originally posted on Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Tucson:

Today is World AIDS Day. The World AIDS campaign reports that more than two million AIDS related deaths reported globally in 2008 – two million children under the age of 15 now live with HIV.
Although no longer the only or even largest group impacted by HIV,  LGBT people are particularly stigmatized and targeted for HIV-related discrimination. For example, The Ugandan Parliament is considering a bill that allows for a seven year prison term for any person or organization who supports or promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people’s rights. It would jail for up to three years anyone who fails to report a person they suspect of being lesbian or gay. A person living with HIV who has consensual homosexual sex would face the death penalty, regardless of risk of HIV transmission and even if their partner is also HIV-positive. (Punitive Laws threaten HIV Progress

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Mindful Monday: Reminder


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#TBT: Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

Originally posted on Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Tucson:

Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

If you live in the United States, today is Thanksgiving. Like any holiday, it can be painful and lonely rather than enjoyable for  trauma survivors or any who are socially isolated or disconnected from their families. With its intense focus on food, Thanksgiving can also be loaded for those with eating disorders.

Maybe it is time to reinvent holidays in a way that works for you! There is so much hype in our culture around the major holidays, so many “shoulds”, so many activities that wind up feeling like obligations. Ask yourself if the activities you participate in are enjoyable or causing more stress? Why not let go of the things that do not truly nurture you and instead create some simple, meaningful traditions?

One such simple tradition that has meaning for me is taking some time today to focus on…

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Throwback Thursday: Survivors of Suicide Loss

Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

November 21, 2015 is this year’s Annual National Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention(AFSP) states:

National Survivors of Suicide Day is a day of healing for those who have lost someone to suicide. It was created by U.S. Senate resolution in 1999 through the efforts of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, who lost his father to suicide. Every year, AFSP sponsors an event to provide an opportunity for the survivor community to come together for support, healing, information and empowerment.

I have written previously about suicide and trauma survivors as well as how anti-gay bullying can increase suicide risk for LGBTQ youth. Queer communities nationally have been very sensitized to this issue recently, with all the media coverage of anti-LGBTQ bullying related suicides.

What we may not always be aware of is that suicide impacts many. The family, friends and even acquaintances of those who commit suicide are often profoundly affected by this loss. Suicide is traumatic. Those left behind often struggle with unanswered questions, feelings of guilt and even anger. In addition, since mental health issues in general and suicide in particular are still stigmatized, survivors may feel a sense of shame that precludes talking about their loss and reaching out for the help they need.

If you have lost someone to suicide you are not alone. Support is available. Connection with others who understand can be very healing.

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TBT: Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Originally posted on

November 20 is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to honor and remember transgender (or perceived to be transgender) individuals who have been murdered because of discrimination and hate.

I am including a list of links shared via Twitter and Facebook. It is encouraging to see so many working towards raising awareness and ending all forms of violence and hate. Today I will envision a time when none of us suffer or die simply because of who we are.

What Does Transgender Day of Remembrance Mean to You – Q&A with Ethan St. Pierre

Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring Project reveals more than 160 murders of trans people in the last 12 months

This year, we remember

What Does Transgender Day Of Remembrance Mean To You?

Kathleen Young, Psy.D.

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