Cultivating Empowerment: Preventing Suicide in the LGBTQ Communities, Part 1

Cultivating Empowerment: Preventing Suicide in the LGBTQ Communities Using LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy, Part 1

Presented By: Rick Grant-Coons, PsyD

With a suicide death every 12.8 minutes and over a million attempts in the United States every year, suicide impacts every community. This is especially true for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning communities. Today, more research has shown elevated risk factors specific to these communities due to heterosexist and transphobic abuse that exists in society.

LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that is based on the understanding that LGBTQ people are not just tolerated or accepted but instead celebrated for their value in any culture. This perspective is essential for effective therapy since it challenges many years of hostility inflicted by the dominate culture. Mental health clinicians trained in LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy and Suicide Prevention can improve their effectiveness for helping LGBTQ clients increase protective factors and resilience while decreasing risk of suicide attempts and death.

Dr. Grant-Coons first received his master’s in clinical psychology (MA) from Antioch University in Los Angeles and specialized in LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy. He then went on to complete his doctorate in clinical psychology (PsyD) from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles with an emphasis in multi-cultural and community psychology.

Dr. Grant-Coons has been a psychotherapist since 2006 working mostly with marginalized communities. He trained at several community agencies including AIDS Project Los Angeles, Los Angeles LGBT Center, South Central Training Consortium, and the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital-High Risk Youth Program. He has also been in private practice since 2009 providing individual, couple’s, family and group psychotherapy.

Before relocating to Sacramento, Dr. Grant-Coons was the Lead Clinical Supervisor at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services-Suicide Prevention Center in Los Angeles developing and facilitating support groups for Suicide Attempt Survivors and providing suicide prevention trainings all across the United States and Canada. Currently, Dr. Grant-Coons has his psychotherapy private practice, Empowered Living Therapy, in Midtown Sacramento and is on the board of the Sacramento Valley Psychological Association as the Diversity Chair.