Bridgehampton, NY, Friday, October 13, 2023 – The LGBT Network will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, October 28, 2023 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at its new, second service site for its Hamptons Center at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Bridgehampton. This new site will support an expansion of mental health services and anti-bullying programs to better serve the LGBT community throughout the region in the face of anti-LGBT hate and legislation.
The space at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, located at 2463 Main Street, supplements the LGBT Network’s first Hamptons Center location at Old Whaler’s Church in Sag Harbor. The October 28th Open House will offer attendees a tour of the new space, to learn about weekly youth groups, expanded mental health services and anti-bullying programs, and upcoming community events.
“It is the LGBT Network’s 30th anniversary, and we are thrilled to further expand access to our vital and life-saving services and programs for the LGBT community with the introduction of this second space for our Hamptons Center,” says LGBT Network CEO Robert Vitelli.
The LGBT Network will use its ‘Hamptons Center – Sag Harbor’ location to hold community events, while it transitions its office space and youth group programs to its new ‘Hamptons Center – Bridgehampton’ site.
The new location will also usher-in a needed expansion of services for the LGBT community.
LAUNCHING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN THE HAMPTONS
71% of LGBTQ youth — including 86% of trans and nonbinary youth — say state laws restricting the rights of LGBTQ young people have negatively impacted their mental health. (The Trevor Project)
Thanks to a new major gift from the William E. and Maude S. Pritchard Charitable Trust, as well as support from hundreds of donors that attended the organization’s Hamptons Summer Kick-Off event providing record-breaking support, the LGBT Network is expanding its mental health counseling services to the Hamptons. It is the first time the LGBT Network is offering its mental health services at a brick-and-mortar location in the Hamptons, thereby increasing access to this requested and needed service. The LGBT Network has been delivering mental health counseling services for more than 28 years.
GROWING ANTI-BULLYING PROGRAMS
Nearly all LGBTQ+ students (97.0%) heard “gay” used in a negative way (e.g., “that’s so gay”) at school; 68.0% heard these remarks frequently or often, and 93.7% reported that they felt distressed because of this language. (GLSEN)
The LGBT Network is also expanding its signature Safe Schools Anti-Bullying programs in schools throughout the Hamptons and East End. The organization is expanding its capacity to deliver more of its signature “LGBT 101” anti-bullying programs for students, while also offering more training programs for teachers and school staff. To further empower LGBT youth, the LGBT Network is expanding programs for after-school GSA clubs with more leadership programs.
The expansion of anti-bullying programs is supported by the organization’s Hamptons Summer Kick-Off event as well as a new grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the second in a string of new federal grants awarded to the organization for its community-based outreach, education, and advocacy work.
“This expansion is vital to counter the anti-LGBT hate and legislation that our LGBT youth and their families are seeing and hearing every day,” says Vitelli. “LGBT youth need support, affirmation, and validation right now, and the LGBT Network is answering that call.”