A warm, hot pink background has 5 abstractly collaged people (artwork by Faviana Rodriguez); there's a cool, dark teal banner at the bottom of the graphic that has large white text reading "TOWARDS THRIVING"

September 22, 2022

Addressing Youth Mental Health

A Sketchily graphic doodle of two brown-skin people, a family of three, talking to someone sitting in a chair. A brown blob separates the graphic from the deep teal and black background.

Youth are getting back to school this September amidst trauma, violence, and adversity. What can advocates do to help prepare them?


While many children and youth are excited to be back to in-person learning, there’s no question that the trauma, stress, and isolation that COVID brought have taken a toll – on students and the people who work with youth alike. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tracked sharp increases in suicide attempts by adolescent girls and gender-oppressed youth, prolonged emergency room visits for mental health issues among young people, and young adults needing and receiving treatment for mental health problems.

Sadly, it’s something many of us are witnessing firsthand. That’s why it’s important to share some of the resources that Futures Without Violence created and helpful information being shared to help address our country’s youth mental health crisis.

Changing Minds

Many of the powerful materials Futures Without Violence has created are available, in English and Spanish, on our Changing Minds NOW website, including:

    • How School Staff Can Help Students Heal from Trauma, which helps teachers, school nurses and others (like advocates working with youth) to better understand how violence affects child development and promote resilience.
    • Five Everyday Gestures to Help Children Heal, which explains how to be a supportive, caring adult who helps prevent or mitigate trauma through everyday gestures like comforting, listening, inspiring, collaborating, and celebrating.
    • Our tool for Juvenile and Family Courts, which explains how judges and child-serving professionals can promote healing and avoid re-traumatizing youth by creating child- and family-friendlier courtrooms, being thoughtful about services, and more.

Changing Minds NOW also offers resources for mentors and professionals who working with youth, as well as powerful first-person stories about how school staff, coaches, and others have supported youth to overcome trauma and helped others do so too.

In addition, the CDC published a terrific set of resources to help children and youth transition back to school and to early care and education programs, including what others can do to ease their transition.

And because, in all our work, we pay particular attention to the most vulnerable children and youth, we want to share a link to the LGBTQ+ Families and Schools Study being fielded by GLSEN, which works to ensure that every member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. GLSEN is fielding a survey for LGBTQ+ parents and caregivers, and another for youth with at least one LGBTQ+ parent or caregiver. Take one of the surveys here and/or share the link.

Millions of Dollars Secured

Finally, Futures Without Violence worked hard to ensure that the bipartisan gun violence prevention law enacted this summer includes resources to support youth mental health. Because of that law, new funds will soon be available to strengthen school-based mental health, crisis intervention, and violence prevention programs to train mental health workers and support community behavioral health clinics. Their new summary describes the new law. Futures Without Violence is working with state and federal agencies on implementation and to ensure those funds are being used in ways that promote mental health instead of “hardening” schools in ways that often harm Black and Brown students and youth with disabilities. Advocates are encouraged to engage with local school systems to ensure the new funding is used appropriately. Futures Without Violence will share additional information as it becomes available. 

Working together, we can solve our country’s youth mental health crisis and give all our kids the chance to thrive this school year. Thank you to all who are striving to help our youth and strengthen our communities!​​​​

This article is an outreach email from Esta Solar, the Founder & President of Futures Without Violence. This article has been revised and adapted from Solar’s email so it better fits the Towards Thriving newsletter, and the original outreach email can be found here.


Support for LGBTQ+ Survivors

A Sketchily graphic doodle of two brown-skin people seemingly talking through a tough situation; they have brown shirts, and one person places their hand on the other's shoulder. A light teal blob separates the graphic from the deep teal and black background.

“More than 1 in 3 LGBTQ people experience intimate partner violence over the course of their lives — with bisexual, transgender, and BIPOC LGBTQ communities experiencing even higher rates — which makes Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) one of the largest and most critical health issues confronting our LGBTQ community. These incidences of violence have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center Chief Impact Officer Terra Russell-Slavin.

“IPV creates serious physical health, mental health, and social consequences for survivors, their families, our community, and society at large. Together, with our collaborators, we will help create a more responsive infrastructure so that LGBTQ survivors can not only heal but thrive.”


According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, an estimated 4.1 million LGBTQ people in the United States have experienced physical IPV, partner rape, or partner stalking in their lifetimes. Facing a severe shortage nationwide of tailored, appropriate, and trauma-informed LGBTQ victim services, the Institute will significantly enhance the safety, well-being, support, and health of LGBTQ IPV survivors.

“Many services for LGBTQ IPV victims are provided in the context of traditional heterosexual programs which are neither adapted nor modified to meet the needs of LGBTQ individuals,” said Susan Holt, the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s STOP Violence Program Manager. “This can result in inadequate, unsafe, and ineffective services, and — in some cases — can inadvertently increase violence and abuse.”

So what’s being done? And what can advocates do?


At the beginning of the month, the Los Angeles LGBT Center announced the launch of a new nationwide program. This program is made possible in collaboration with the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs and In Our Own Voices, Inc., and the goal of the program is to effectively respond to the unique and emerging needs of LGBTQ survivors of Intimate Partner Violence.

The National LGBTQ Institute on Intimate Partner Violence was funded by a $2.25 million federal grant from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, US Department of Health and Human Services. This Institute will deliver state-of-the-art training and technical assistance that significantly expands the capacity of public and private agencies to provide culturally relevant, survivor-centered LGBTQ IPV intervention and prevention services, including to LGBTQ persons from racially and ethnically diverse communities. This program will begin in the fall, then span across the next 5 years (and potentially beyond!).

Advocates ares strongly suggested to learn more on this topic, especially through this program’s training opportunities. To join their mailing list to receive updates and training opportunities for supporting queer & trans survivors through IPV, click here. For more information about the National LGBTQ Institute of Intimate Partner Violence, click here

This article is based from an outreach email from the National Network to End Domestic Violence & its included announcement from Los Angeles LGBT Center. This article has been revised and adapted from the initial email sent by NNEDV so it better fits the Towards Thriving newsletter.


Idaho Advocacy: Updates & News

A Sketchily graphic doodle of two brown-skin people with their fists up; they have deep purple and teal accents and both wear teal ribbons. A pink blob separates the graphic from the deep teal and black background.

Updates & News from Advocacy 101

Earlier in the month, advocates from across the state joined us for an Advocacy 101 training. The goal of this training was to co-create effective advocacy practices in a rural state, and this space was a great opportunity for new & seasoned advocates and program staff to build state-wide connections with advocates while learning about basic advocacy in Idaho.

The two-day Advocacy 101 covered topics such as a shared understanding about how racism and oppression affect advocacy, dynamics of gender based violence, advocate privilege, & mandatory reporting, and this space closed with a panel of current Idaho advocates sharing their wisdom.

The first day of the training focused on community building and education about how racism and oppression intersects with gender-based violence. The first day of the gathering also included a presentation by Lourdes Matsumoto, Idaho Coalition’s Director of Law & Policy, covering Confidentiality in Advocacy. On the second day we carried our intersectional theme within the basic advocacy topics that will include, dynamics of gender-based violence, trauma-informed housing for survivors, working with sexual assault survivors, and confidentiality and mandatory reporting. 

Chauntelle Lieske, former Executive Director of Safe Passage, gave a wonderful and informative presentation on Dynamics of Gender-Based Violence. You can view the presentation here. Deadria Boyland, Sarah Kendall, and Heather Wehr gave a virtual presentation on Trauma-Informed Housing for Survivors which can be viewed here. Cat Fribley, with National Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project, and Tracy Wright, with North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, wrapped up our presentations with a virtual presentation covering Working with Sexual Assault Survivors. Their presentation can be viewed here.

We want to give a huge thank you and deep appreciation to Noemí Juárez and Angélica Soto, with Voices Against Violence, Candice Balcazar, with Elmore County Domestic Violence Council, Monica Carrillo with Family Safety Network, and Tricia Lofton, with Advocates Against Family Violence for sharing their wisdom on our Advocate Panel. This was a wonderful opportunity for new advocates to be able to hear from experienced advocates about day-to-day advocacy with survivors. You can view this panel here.

You can view the Advocacy 101 Materials from these presentations at any time!

The Advocacy 101 Gathering was such a joyful experience. This was the Idaho Coalition’s first advocate gathering in over two years! It was such a privilege to share space with over 30 advocates from 13 domestic violence/sexual assault programs in Idaho, and we can’t wait to do it again soon.

Advocacy 101 Gathering Participants, don’t forget to fill out the Advocacy 101 Survey. We would love to see your honest feedback. We will also use information from the survey for planning opportunities for connection among advocates of different identities. If you have any questions regarding the survey, please reach out to Kailey at kailey@engagingvoices.org.

Updates & News from the Elmore County Domestic Violence Council

Right now, Elmore County’s domestic violence center is seeking two full-time candidates for two roles on their team:

The Elmore County Domestic Violence Council (ECDVC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based out of Mountain Home, Idaho. They provide 24/7 crisis hotlines, shelter, and advocacy services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, and teen dating violence. They also provide education, awareness, and resources to communities in Idaho in hopes of creating a community where every individual thrives in safe, health relationships free of violence.

This organization is searching for a full-time Executive Director (salary of $65-$70 thousand) and a full-time Program Coordinator (salary based off of experience).

More descriptions can be found here (along with part-time opportunities) or via the Elmore Country Domestic Violence Council. Applications can be shared to director@ecdvc.org after applicants have reviewed the job descriptions & application information.

This information was shared through our team’s networks.

If you want to learn more about Advocacy 101, Kailey can be contacted at kailey@engagingvoices.org. If you want to check out the ECDVC site, click here.


Training & Events

a black & white icon of a calendarIntersection of Human Trafficking & Substance Use 

Webinar | September 22

Futures Without Violence is hosting an online webinar titled “Intersection of Human Trafficking and Substance Use: Trauma-Informed Care and Collaboration Strategies to Support Survivors”. This webinar will highlight collaborative strategies to support survivors.

This webinar is explained more in this previous newsletter article

If you’d like to access the registration page, click here.

a black & white icon of a calendarAccess & Justice 

Webinar | September 23

Learn about the Deaf culture and beloved community as well as ableism, language deprivation, accommodations, and more to better provide services for a Deaf or Hard of Hearing individual. This space is paneled by Deaf professionals working with Deaf survivors of domestic and sexual violence. 

This series is open to everyone in the anti-violence field.

This discussion will take place online between Sabrina Glover, Aracelia Aguilar, and Heather Daley between 11:00 and 1:00 PM MST. To learn more and/or register, click here.

a black & white icon of a calendarSupporting Survivors of Incarceration and Gender-Based Violence 

Webinar | September 28

The Leadership of Voices of Experience (LOVE) Project brought together formerly incarcerated individuals and leaders in criminal justice reform, victim service providers, gender-responsive service providers, and additional advocates focused on supporting survivors of incarceration and gender-based violence.

This partnership led to the development of the LOVE Curriculum for Providers, a resource to build the capacity of victim service providers to better support formerly incarcerated cis and trans women and girls, and gender-expansive people (i.e., gender nonconforming, genderqueer, nonbinary people). This webinar & curriculum release takes place at 1:00 PM MST. Register here!

a black & white icon of a calendarA Conversation with Dr. Treva B. Lindsey 

Online Discussion | September 28

Although Black women have been at the forefront of Black freedom movements throughout history, we have rarely been the focus of said movements. But Black women and girls have persisted and created their own visions of liberation and freedom.

Dr. Treva B. Lindsey in her new book “America, Goddam” demands that we support and believe that Black women and girls are already laying the groundwork for liberation, and she offers a call to action in our collective journey toward just futures.

Please register to join this conversation with the National Black Women’s Justice Institute and Dr. Treva B. Lindsey, associate professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.


Idaho Coalition Store Materials

a graphic of three people in front of a maroon background, under white text reading "store materials"

Reminder: Shipping for all materials on our website store is FREE for Programs. Please use the coupon below for all orders.

Visit the online store for the Idaho Coalition to check out what materials are available for order.

For store questions, please contact us.

Coupon Code