FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 11th, 2020

Contact: Sarah Rosso Phone: (412) 973-5053
B.E.S.T.I.E.E. PROJECT for LGBTQIA+ YOUTH ACROSS WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
(Pittsburgh)–Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation is excited to announce the launch of the B.E.S.T.I.E.E. Project. Building Equitable Solutions to Improve Emotional Environments. This new three-year project began October 1st, 2020 to support LGBTQIA+ youth across the commonwealth.
 
Prior to COVID-19, queer youth were at higher risk than their heterosexual peers for depression, anxiety, suicide, and other serious mental health issues. The closure of schools, forced isolation with unsupportive adults, and lack of access to affirming community resources has only made managing stressors more difficult. It is important that LGBTQIA+ youth know where to find support within the community. 
 
B.E.S.T.I.E.E. project will provide supportive strategies and solutions to address suicide, substance use, sexual health and overall wellbeing for LGBTQIA+ youth across Western Pennsylvania. We will be collaborating with a variety of local and regional organizations along with our project partners in Erie, Beaver and Washington Counties.    
 
Today, National Coming Out Day, many LGBTQ+ youth will come out to their friends and family. Inviting folks to celebrate their authenticity and individuality. While some will be accepted others will face rejections. It is important that LGBTQ+ youth know that they are valid despite what others may say. 
 
“We are dedicated to creating inclusive and accessible mental health support for youth, one that decreases suicidal planning and action through social connectedness and meeting their physical, mental, and sexual health needs. As a community, it is imperative that we work together and help LGBTQ+ youth build a life worth living.”
 Coley Alston, MPH, CPH Program Director at the foundation.
 
For more information email: 
info@hughlane.org or call: (412)-973-5053 
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Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization working to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ and HIV communities across western Pennsylvania.



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