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Safe Spaces

Challenging Topic

This topic can be challenging for some, especially for people with relevant experiences. Remember to take care of yourself, and be aware of your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical status. Be sure to take breaks, if needed.

If you need someone to talk to, please visit the Get Care page for resources specific to your circumstances.

Last updated March 2023

All our relations: Growing community health through safe spaces

One of the most effective ways to support our friends and relatives and their mental health is to provide safe spaces so folks can thrive as their authentic selves. A safe space is welcoming, supportive, confidential and free of judgement and harmful actions and behavior.  Everyone deserves a safe space, whether in public, at home or through the relationships we create and we can all play a role in creating safe spaces.

Safe spaces can look like classrooms or school activities with zero tolerance anti-bullying policies or even just supportive groups of likeminded friends and family.

Having a space for their authentic selves can be life-saving for youth.  In a Trevor Project study, trans and nonbinary youth who reported gender-identity acceptance from at least one adult had 33% lower odds of attempted suicide  than youth who were not accepted. One person can truly make a huge difference – imagine the impact when youth have community support.

Tips for creating safe spaces

Take on your own learning

Find resources for subjects you are unfamiliar with, rather than expecting others to do that for you. Learn about identity bias, stigma and discrimination, as well as their impact on youth. Consider your own biases and what you can do to challenge and grow from them.

Practice humility

Creating a safe space is a continuous learning process that focuses on the needs and wants of others by all members of the safe space community. For example, identity is personal, and a good practice is to respect the variety of factors that make up individual identity.

Keep things confidential

Disclosing personal information about someone else without their permission can be hurtful and harmful. When someone feels safe to do so, they’ll choose to share their story with others.

When youth feel safe, valued and respected, they grow up with the confidence to advocate for themselves, their loved ones and their communities. Let’s celebrate our youth for the wonderful people they are!

Get Help

For general resources about relationships, sex, wellness and more, please do a search on the Get Answers page.

Are you in immediate danger?

Call 911 or your local police. If not in an immediate threat, please view resources on the Get Care page.