ROCKLAND — Thanks to generous donations from Jane’s Trust and You Have Our Trust Fund, OUT Maine has converted several of its in-person trainings to online, self-paced, engaging professional development training modules, with the goal of reaching more teachers and service providers who work with LGBTQ+ youth throughout Maine, and beyond.

OUT Maine trained over 10,000 educators, health care and behavioral health providers in recent years, building a strong safety net across the state. Yet, the need for community-based knowledge and support is growing. According to the Maine Centers for Disease Control, 20 percent of Maine’s teens identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary or questioning (LGBTQ+) in 2019. At high risk for bullying, harassment and significant Adverse Childhood Experiences, youth need support to build resiliency, overcome adversity and create successful futures.

The new online interactive offerings include modules on terminology and pronouns, risk and protective factors of LGBTQ+ youth and best practices for providing support. The modules are designed for any professional working with youth in a variety of settings, including, schools, medical and therapy practices, youth camps/programs and community service providers. It also is valuable for any business, or place of work, that wants to be more welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQ+ people.

The demand for OUT Maine’s trainings has risen exponentially since 2019. This online option will give schools, providers and businesses the opportunity to access this critical information immediately, without having to book a training date, spend time away from work and home and travel to regional trainings.

To learn more, visit: www.mainequeerspace.org

OUT Maine has an ambitious goal: to create more welcoming and affirming communities for Maine’s diverse queer youth in all of their intersectional identities by changing the very systems that serve them. For more information, visit www.outmaine.org

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