Together We Are Strong 2 Review.
Support group- a group of people with common experiences and concerns who provide emotional and moral support for one another. LBQT persons go through unique health experiences and disparities that’s why it was ideal for them to have a support group to help tackle them. The sessions of the support group included Sexual health education on SRHR, Intimate Partner Violence and why they don’t report to the relevant authorities, Substance use, misuse and abuse, Mental health awareness and social support just to mention a few.
Women Working with Women (3W) with much support from UHAI has had a support group for LBQT parents; which is the first of its kind in Western Kenya. This support group brought together LBQT parents from different background for various programmes and session to improve their well-being by facilitating social support and integrated service delivery. We conducted a review meeting on what the parents deemed fit to be changed, added or improved from the various sessions they’ve had so far. The LBQT parents emphasized how the support group has been an important aspect and a safe space for them as it promotes positive health outcomes, this is because the sessions has encouraged LBQT parents share live experiences and learn from them through an experienced facilitator. The support group was also a social support buffer for negative effects of many stressors that the LBQT people go through. There were many programmes that the parents echoed that needed to be explored and implemented. Those which they felt had gaps that needed to be urgently addressed. From the review however, it was noted from the parent’s evaluation that the support group proved important for their general well-being. Importance of the support group as noted:
- LBQT parents realizing they are not alone
- Being able to express their feelings freely
- They were able to learn useful information that they could use in everyday life.
- Gaining hope and reducing distress from the various sessions with much experienced facilitators i.e. counselors.
- Increased self-understanding on what parenting entails.
- Influencing health behaviors among LBQT persons