An upcoming forum seeks to overcome barriers surrounding the LGBTQ+ community by seeking to understand common mental-health struggles and addictions.
The Oxford Treatment Center will host LGBTQ+ Mental Health Awareness Forum on Wednesday, May 15, at 6 p.m. The event will be held at the Oxford Outpatient Center at 611 Commerce Parkway. It is free and open to the community.
The forum will feature five speakers:
- Stacee Reicherzer, a transgender therapist, educator, speaker and writer
- John Marszalek, a counselor and counselor educator for Walden University
- Laura Haddock, counselor educator and supervisor for Southern New Hampshire University
- Kendrick Wallace, University of Mississippi graduate student
- Kevin Cozart, operations coordinator for the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies
Dr. Stacee Reicherzer, LCP-S, has been transgender since she graduated high school and has experienced first-hand the mental effects along with physical changes that accompanied the transition. Her clinical work has been within the LGBTQ community, especially with trauma survivors and same-sex couples.
Reicherzer said therapy work among LGBTQ individuals often starts with affirming her clients’ own self-worth.
“There’s a lot of work to be done with healing these old messages that come from being made to feel different,” Reicherzer said. “We’re often told that we’re ‘less than’ or that we’re wrong and combating these messages has been the focus of so much of my professional journey. It’s guided my research, teaching and now public speaking.”
In coming to Oxford, Reicherzer said the opportunity to share such insights with a broader community is what she is most looking forward to.
“This is a panel that’s for the community,” Reicherzer said. “The most inspiring part of my work is bringing people to that ‘aha’ moment when they become alive and aware, hearing these topics they’ve never heard articulated.
“Regardless of whether we identify ourselves as straight or LGBTQ, we don’t often come together and name the problems we’re facing internally. That’s why I think talking about these issues and hearing different perspectives will be so impactful.”
The LGBTQ+ Mental Health Awareness Forum is free, with refreshments provided. Everyone is invited to attend.
The community forum kicks off a two-day continuing education conference at the Oxford Outpatient Center that will offer 9 CE credit hours for professionals in mental health and behavioral healthcare.
Reicherzer will present “Dismantling Barriers to Care for LGBT and Other Oppressed Groups in the South” on Thursday, May 16. Oxford-based therapist Jeannie Falkner, PhD, LCSW, will present “It Starts with Me: The Nuances of Ethical Decision Making” on Friday, May 17. View complete professional conference details and registration.