PROVO, Utah – Encircle, a resource center for LGBTQ youth and families, opened in Provo last month.
It’s housed in a remodeled 19th-century home. Encircle decided to keep all of the original woodwork in the home, which staff said is a symbol for Encircle’s mission to help people be their natural selves, not tell them how to be.
Encircle therapist Lisa Hansen said she has seen 40 patients and families since last month’s opening. Staff said it’s hard for people to first walk through their door, but having a place where youth can talk openly about their feelings is critical to their health and safety.
“In my experience when people – and also the research says – that when people come out and then they feel like they have an accepting place for that, they are less likely to have mood disorders, or anxiety disorders, or be at a risk for suicide. So I’m super happy when I hear them say, ‘I’m talking more,'” Hansen said.
Encircle holds several free activities for youth every week. Any and all are welcome.
Staff also said they are already looking to expand their model and carry their mission of support to other places. For more information about the center, visit their website here.
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