Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Survival Kit

Holidays can be a challenging and stressful time for everyone, particularly for persons who are GLBTQ.  The Mazzoni Center, a GLBTQ nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia, put together a helpful survival kit that includes activities and stress coping strategies to make the holidays easier to manage. 

The purpose of the survival package is to provide both resources and ways of coping with holiday situations for GLBTQ persons who may be by themselves or who are returning to families during the holidays.

To view the survival kit, click here.

For more information about the Mazzoni Center, visit by clicking here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence continues to be a huge and largely hidden problem.  Most people can say that they have been affected by domestic violence, rather personally or through knowing someone who has been physically, sexually, psychologically or verbally abused by a partner.  Domestic violence crosses all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines, and it happens in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in the United States, 1.3 million women and 830,000 men are assaulted each year by people they believe love them. In a 2005 survey, the Centers for Disease Control found that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men are victims of domestic violence at some point.

Domestic violence may go unrecognized because victims often don’t complain because their partners may have instilled a fear in them to remain quiet.  Unfortunately, it is often only when someone has become seriously hurt or has an emotional breakdown that their friends, family members, or professionals realize what is going on.

Since the 1994 passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), there has been increased awareness of the problem.  This has been greatly beneficial to lessening the stigma, breaking down some of the barriers, and allowing people to come forward to get help.  It is crucial for victims of domestic violence to have the courage to come forward, seek help, and stop the vicious cycle of abuse.

Monday, October 8, 2012

BCCS Participates in DE Pride Fest!

BCCS participated in the Delaware Pride Festival on September 8, which was located at the Diamond State Park in New Castle, Delaware.  BCCS staff had a table to highlight the numerous services for addiction and mental health that are available to the GLBTQ community.

Pride Festivals have been traditionally both a place to celebrate and to provide support for those of the GLBTQ community.  GLBTQ Pride Festivals are now in all 50 states, and are also celebrated globally in many places including Europe, Russia, China, India, Africa and Asia.  Pride festivals are a celebration for not only the GLBTQ Community, but the community on a whole. The word pride speaks of the feeling of self worth, connectedness, and dignity that festival such as this embrace. 

During the festival, an older gentleman came over to the BCCS table.  He introduced himself and said, "I'm 64 and I just came out.  This is my first Pride Festival.  I’ve struggled with depression my entire life and I’m slightly depressed currently. I just want to meet others in a similar situation to me.”  After we spoke for a bit, I directed him to services that BCCS offered that could help him overcome his depression and find a network of people with similar struggles.

After my interaction with him, I sat down and reflected on his comments and our interaction. I realized that the power of BCCS isn’t just the services that we offer, but it’s our openness to people and our non-judgmental approach, our interest in listening to others’ issues, and our willingness to genuinely want to connect people to care and help them. 

Daniel Norvell, ICADC, ICCDP