San Antonio Pride Center offers free therapy sessions for LGBTQ Youth and Spanish speakers
The effort comes on the back of a three-year study by the center that found major gaps in resources for Black and Brown youth.
Through all the twists and turns, and ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic, many sought mental health resources to cope with new changes and feelings associated with them.
To help, a new resource at the Pride Center in San Antonio is offering free virtual group therapy sessions for people of color and LGBTQ community members.
They are workshops that will be free for eight weeks that focus on teaching young, queer, bilingual, people of color how to use the right tools to navigate in life.
“As a young person that was a queer-identified person, there weren’t resources available to me. I was raised in northwest Texas in Amarillo,” Robert Salcido told KSAT in San Antonio.
Salcido is the executive director of the Pride Center of San Antonio and devotes his life to helping people suffering from the same tough experiences he went through as a kid.
“Last year, we completed a three-year study we were working on, the ‘Strengthening Colors of Pride Project,’ and we were able to do a needs assessment,” he said.
The Pride Center of San Antonio was founded in the summer of 2009, by a group of worried locals who noticed a decline in resources for LGBTQ residents in the area.
By July 2012, Pride Center San Antonio became a Federal 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of Texas.
For the workshops, there will be two groups divided into separate sections that will meet virtually on different days. One group will be for LGBTQ and youth of color. The other will be held in Spanish or Spanglish for Latinx LGBTQ adults.
When Salcido’s team of experts committed to conducting their ‘Strengthening Colors of Pride Project,’ they also found a huge gap in resources for youths from Black and Brown communities.
“The research found that, definitely, youth of color experience far greater disparities when it comes to mental health care. COVID certainly adds to those barriers that exist,” Salcido said.
The therapy sessions will be provided by a licensed counselor that will help guide the young locals in the right direction.
The Center will be using research done during these counseling sessions to create more counseling programs for other San Antonio youth.
Salcido is providing counseling and wants to ensure willing participants that they are in a safe space. He recognizes the injustices that Black and Brown's youth go through.
Workers and volunteers in the center are also focused on ending homophobia and racism throughout the San Antonio area.