Sometimes students will need support with difficulties beyond the peer and community support regular GSA meetings and activities can provide. In these instances, it’s important to be able to reach out to school psychologists or social workers for additional mental health assistance (Underhill, 2017).
Not only do mental health professionals serve as important resources, they can work with small groups to facilitate discussions on difficult issues and help the adolescents develop resilience, self-reflection, and coping mechanisms (Chong et al., 2019).
If members of your GSA express a desire for small group support, reach out to your school mental health professionals and administration to make the necessary arrangements. Often these groups should be limited in number in order to allow for more personal interactions (Underhill, 2017).
Some GSAs designate one meeting a month as closed to non-members, to allow for more open discussions of issues (GLSEN Jump-Start Guide, Part 1, n.d.).
Chong, E. S. K., Yoshikawa, H., Poteat, P., & Calzo, J. P. (2019). Fostering youth self-efficacy to address transgender and racial diversity issues: The role of gay-straight alliances. School Psychology, 34(1):54-63. doi:10.1037/spq0000258
The GLSEN jump-start guide, part 1: Building and activating your GSA or similar student club. (n.d.). GLSEN. https://www.eqfl.org/sites/default/files/Jumpstart1.pdf
Underhill, C. (2017). Navigating spaces: Moving along the (dis)enfranchisement spectrum through a high school GSA. Theory in Action, 10(4):89-99. doi:10.3798/tia.1937-0237.1728