An important part of WE-Change’s mandate is to create safe, alternative spaces for lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. This, along with our desire to build the emotional and mental capacity of LBT women led to the creation of the “You are S.A.F.E (Surviving Adversity & Finding Empathy) with us: LBT Women’s Support Group.” First launched in 2015, the group which is facilitated by trained mental health professionals provides a safe space for Jamaican LBT women.
The group consisted of LBT women aged 18 – 45 years who attended twelve support sessions facilitated by Father Sean Major Campbell and Kendra Frith—both of whom are trained counsellors – using the person-centered approach to counselling. The format was two-fold: allies were invited to share their experiences and psycho-educational sessions were also held. Sessions were held by Dr Michale Abrahams, The Fertility Clinic and other beneficial individuals/organisations.
The final session for each month was reserved for a lyme/creative arts display from allies, participants and community members. It was the facilitators’ main objective that at the end of the sessions, we would see a positive growth in the self-esteem of the participants as well as create a sense of empowerment and readiness to change the world. In some instances, if the need arose, participants were invited for individual sessions.
At the end of the support group, participants were furnished with the skills needed to feel fulfilled as individuals and to begin or continue their individual healing processes. Being a part of the LBT community can be difficult, but through the support group we are able to allow members to form strong bonds and forge solidarity in the face of adversity.
WE-Change’s 18 support group will be held for 12 weeks over the July/August 2018 under the theme “Reclaiming You.” The aim of this year’s support group is to help beneficiaries learn to love and trust themselves, enjoy their own company and make well thought out judgements. To register please email us.
WE-Change continues to strive to see a Jamaican society where LBT women are empowered and fully equipped with the tools to participate meaningfully in national development, thereby aiding in achieving Vision 2030, where the rights of all persons are upheld without prejudice.