East West Center for Counselling & Training | Indian Institute of Psychodrama | Magdalene Jeyarathnam | Eric Miller


Indian institute of Psychodrama in collaboration with South Indian AIDS action programme is hosting a Peer counselling session in Chennai from June 25 to 28 to support the LGBTQIA+ Community.

Location: Indian institute of Psychodrama, West Thousand lights, Chennai 600006

Dates: June 25, 26, 27 and 28 (2024)

What is Peer Counseling?
Peer counseling is a supportive service where trained individuals who share similar experiences or backgrounds provide guidance, support, and a listening ear to others.

Why Peer Counseling is Necessary and Essential for the Mental Health of the LGBTQIA+ Community?

  1. Shared Experiences and Understanding
    Empathy and Validation: LGBTQIA+ peer counselors have firsthand experiences with issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity. This shared understanding fosters a deep sense of empathy and validation for those seeking support.
    Safe Space: Peer counseling provides a safe and non-judgmental environment where individuals can freely discuss their concerns without fear of misunderstanding or discrimination.
  2. Addressing Unique Mental Health Challenges
    Minority Stress: The LGBTQIA+ community faces unique stressors, such as discrimination, stigma, and internalized homophobia/transphobia. Peer counselors are uniquely equipped to address these specific challenges.
    Mental Health Disparities: LGBTQIA+ individuals are at a higher risk for mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Peer counseling offers targeted support to help mitigate these risks.
  3. Building Community and Reducing Isolation
    Sense of Belonging: Peer counseling helps individuals feel connected to a community of people who understand and accept them, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
    Community Engagement: It encourages participation in community activities and events, further fostering a sense of belonging and solidarity.
  4. Accessibility and Trust
    Lower Barriers to Support: Peer counseling is often more accessible and less intimidating than traditional mental health services, making it easier for individuals to seek help.
    Trust and Rapport: Trust is built more easily with peer counselors who share similar life experiences, enhancing the effectiveness of the support provided.
  5. Empowerment and Self-Advocacy
    Empowerment: Peer counseling empowers individuals by helping them develop coping strategies, resilience, and self-advocacy skills.
    Role Models: Peer counselors serve as role models, demonstrating positive ways to navigate challenges and live authentically.
  6. Complementing Professional Mental Health Services
    Supplementary Support: Peer counseling can complement professional mental health services by providing ongoing, informal support between therapy sessions.
    Bridging the Gap: It can act as a bridge for those who may be hesitant to seek professional help, guiding them towards appropriate resources and services.
  7. Encouraging Healthy Identity Development
    Positive Identity Formation: Peer counseling supports individuals in exploring and affirming their sexual and gender identities in a positive and healthy manner.
    Navigating Identity Challenges: It provides guidance on dealing with identity-related challenges, such as coming out, transitioning, and dealing with family or societal acceptance.
  8. Promoting Mental Health Awareness and Education
    Raising Awareness: Peer counseling initiatives often include educational components that raise awareness about mental health issues within the LGBTQIA+ community.
    Reducing Stigma: By openly addressing mental health, peer counseling helps reduce the stigma associated with seeking help and discussing mental health issues.
    Peer counseling is a crucial support system for the mental health of the LGBTQIA+ community. It offers empathetic, informed, and accessible support tailored to the unique challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals. By fostering a sense of belonging, reducing isolation, and empowering individuals, peer counseling plays an essential role in promoting mental well-being and resilience within the community.

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