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LGBTQ+ Mental Health, What we all need to know.

LGBTQ+ Mental Health: What We All Need to Know | Sept. 23rd, 6-7 pm.

Being LGBTQ+ is NOT a mental health challenge. However, LGBTQ+ youth often face external forces and stressors that can impact mental health. Stigma, discrimination, bullying, and hate speech are often reported experiences from LGBTQ+ youth and can be traumatic events that significantly influence a young person’s life and mental wellbeing. Buffalo Toronto Public Media has partnered with GLYS to host a virtual community conversation and panel discussion exploring issues that contribute to stress and negative impacts on LGBTQ+ youth. 

Robert DiGangi-Roush, Executive Director of GLYS, will host and moderate LGBTQ+ Mental Health: What We All Need to Know. This panel event will discuss some challenges LGBTQ+ youth experience and how the intersection of social class, accessibility, religion, age, race, ethnicity, and more can impact mental wellness. The panel will offer information for parents, caregivers, peers and the community on access to mental health care and services for LGBTQ+ youth. Additionally, audience and participant questions will be addressed as time allows. 


Dr. Robert DiGangi-Roush (he/him & they/them), Executive Director of GLYS Western New York, Inc. has their undergraduate and Master's Degrees from The State University of NY at Buffalo, where their graduate work was in non-profit Administration. Their PhD is in Alternative and Complementary Healthcare from Westbrook University. Their dissertation is still used internationally as a textbook for creating a complementary and alternative healthcare clinic. In it, they used the same service wraparound concept that is now part of GLYS's Youth Gender Affirmation Program. 

Vivian D. Logan (she/her/hers), LMSW, APC; Outreach and Engagement Specialist with Horizon Health Services has worked in the Human Service field and in the field of social work for 20 years as a Licensed Masters Social Worker, prior to that she obtained an undergraduate degree in Psychology. Her MSW program at SUNY Buffalo entailed a program concentration in Families and Children and Mental Health. She has completed her doctorial course work, and currently preparing to conduct her research and complete her dissertation with UOP’s-online program in Educational Leadership and Administration. Her dissertation focuses on the leadership perspective of culturally responsive teaching practices as a method to engage and enhance the academic standards of ethnically and racially diverse students. As she believes a need exists for leaders to be culturally competent, understand the various theories of how people learn, and why factors such as “race, power, legitimacy, cultural capital, poverty, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, and language” can affect learning styles and skill development. In 2022, she will begin her quest to become a life coach, focusing on all areas of well-being.

Andrea (Andi) Binner (she/they) has worked in the Human Service field since they received their 1st Master’s Degree in Education/Counseling Psychology from St. Bonaventure University. Andrea also has a Masters’ degree in Social Work from the University at Buffalo. She started in the field working on a psychiatric unit/Emergency Room and then a Partial Hospitalization Program in Jamestown, NY. Andrea has enjoyed a mix of assisting both adult, teens and children throughout her 29-year career thus far. Andrea was trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and conducted research on HIV at SUNY – Binghamton where she earned her BA in Psychology. She also volunteered in helping individuals to grow safer, related to risk for HIV and other STI’s by assisting students, professors and anyone that wanted to learn about how to help make sex fun and consensual, while learning to have more agency over their sexual health. She continued this work at Evergreen and the Pride Center in 2015-2016. This is where she co-facilitated a Trauma Informed Psychoeducation group for people who identified themselves and Transgender/Non-Binary or Gender Expansive. Andrea has been in Private Practice full-time since 2016 in Buffalo, NY.

Jennifer Parrack has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and has been living and working in Western New York for the past 11 years. She is currently employed by New York State.  She is a certified Our Whole Lives instructor, a comprehensive sex education curriculum that spans all ages. She is passionate about combatting bias in health care and the legal system (and life in general), from racism and transphobia to ableism and fat phobia. Jennifer is mom to two other panelists, 17-year-old, Allie (she/ her pronouns) and 14-year-old and Rin(they/ them pronouns).

Thank you to GLYS partners: Dr. Robert DiGangi-Roush, Executive Director and Rev. Susan Frawley, Community and Parent Outreach Coordinator and Pastor of the Hamburg Unitarian Universalist Church.



WBFO’s Mental Health Initiative is funded by the Patrick P. Lee Foundation.

Virtual Experiences