Many families in our care may benefit greatly from talking with a psychologist or social worker on our mental health team about issues related to gender identity or expression. Our team has specialized training in psychosocial and mental health issues related to gender development, and they can provide support in a number of ways, including (but not limited to):
- Supporting the family of a child with gender-nonconforming behavior
- Helping parents learning more about gender development and providing helpful ways to explain gender-related issues to their family and friends
- Partnering with parents to develop age-appropriate ways to explain support their children
- Supporting a family as they decide whether or not to initiate gender-affirming medical care, such as pubertal suppression therapy or hormone therapy
- Helping children and adolescents cope with worry, stress, and other strong feelings related to their gender identity, their bodies, or body changes associated with puberty
- Empowering adolescents to foster skills in managing interpersonal relationships and maintain healthy self-esteem
- Facilitating peer-support opportunities for families through ongoing support groups and social family outings
We match the diverse support needs of our families by providing them with an array of ways to meet one-on-one with our psychologists. Some families choose to meet with a psychologist once or twice a year, and some choose to meet more regularly. Other families choose to meet with one of our psychologists just once to have this relationship established should a need for support arise at some point in the future.
To find out more information about our clinic’s mental health support, contact our program social worker and coordinator, Janay Joyce-Ward at 312.227.3779 or JJoyceWard@luriechildrens.org.