St. Louis Queer Plus Support Helpline
St Louis Queer Plus Support Helpline
SQSH's pilot-initiative aims to promote mental well-being through improving community connectedness, peer support, and school climate for queer/LGBTQIA+ students at Affton High School. Ten students will serve as Queer Youth Peer Leaders (QYPLs) and will be trained through a 30-hour Summer Cohort, including peer-support workshops, consciousness-raising political education, art/healing activities, and a resource fact-sheet. Upon returning to school, QYPLs will support peers through co-facilitating community-building activities at weekly GSA (Gender-Sexuality Alliance) meetings, having destigmatizing conversations with queer students, promoting queer-affirming resources within their social networks, serving as peer counselors at school events, and tabling at activity fairs. SQSH will support QYPL's participation/leadership through providing honoraria, welcome packages, writing/tabling supplies, self-care items, food/drinks, graduation certificates, customized/co-designed merchandise, and monthly check-ins/coaching. SQSH will provide other services to complement QYPLs' roles and set QYPLs up for success/impact. This program will promote SQSH's Warmline, providing up to 200-hours of free, confidential peer support for queer students/allies. We'll develop/promote youth-specific features for our SQSHBook Resource Guide to increase queer students'/allies' awareness of/access to identity-affirming resources. We'll facilitate Allyship Trainings among school personnel/students to strengthen queer-affirming allyship practices and create a more LGBTQIA-affirming school climate through education/advocacy. We'll host a Fall Community Event at Tower Grove Park to celebrate queer Affton students, promote intergenerational relationships, and provide individual/group healing activities. Finally, we'll host Feedback/Listening sessions with QYPLs to facilitate transition-planning and project takeaways.