Center Stage
Offering hope and help
Published Thursday, 11-Mar-2010 in issue 1159
The San Diego LGBT Community Center is the second oldest and third largest GLBT Community Center in the nation, and proud to be a long-standing member of the national GLBT Community Center movement. Standing amongst some of the larger Centers – Los Angles, New York, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco – The San Diego LGBT community has ensured that the San Diego Center could survive and flourish for more than 38 years.
The community center movement began four decades ago as activists and community members in California and New York sought to create institutions that could provide safe spaces from which to simultaneously advocate for equality and provide actual services and a central organizing point for their GLBT communities.
One of the foundational programs in each of the community centers quickly became the provision of mental health services to GLBT community members and their families. One of the concerns of those early organizers included the rates of suicide amongst GLBT youth and seniors and they sought to provide professional local resources designed to offer help and hope.
Established in 1973-74, just as the American psychological and psychiatric communities removed homosexuality from the diagnostic manuals as a disorder, these national programs have served to provide local community members with professional, culturally-affirmative mental health services and continue to provide those services today. The San Diego LGBT Community Center has provided these professional and affirming services to the community for more than 25 years.
Now serving more than 800 clients per year, the Behavioral Health Services department of The San Diego Center continues its decades-long dedication to providing hope and help for those suffering from depression, anxiety or relationship struggles.
It is the only community-based, low-fee clinic in San Diego County dedicated specifically to the needs of the GLBT and HIV communities, and the largest provider of HIV mental health services in San Diego County.
The Center offers a wide variety of counseling services, including:
Basic Individual, Couples / Family, & Group Counseling
Individual one-on-one counseling, couples counseling, family counseling and group counseling are available for the lesbian, gay bisexual, and transgender community. Information, skills and support are provided to assist coping with coming out issues, self-esteem, relationship challenges, bereavement, depression, anxiety, HIV or cancer diagnoses and a variety of other life challenges.
HIV Counseling Services
These services provide HIV/AIDS infected and affected clients with free individual, couples, family and group counseling interventions.
Relationship Violence Treatment & Intervention Program (RVTIP)
Group and individual counseling is offered to both victims and offenders struggling with relationship violence. This program is also probation/court-certified for court-ordered clients.
Transgender Counseling
Individual counseling and assessment are offered to assist transgender persons in dealing with a variety of life and transition concerns.
Youth Counseling
Counseling is available for GLBT youth who may be struggling with a variety of coming out challenges.
Counseling for those 50 or better
Counseling is available for GLBT seniors who may be struggling with a variety of challenges that can accompany aging.
All of these services are designed to help every member of our community realize their potential – to live a life as full, as happy and as healthy as possible.
Life can be challenging. We’re here to offer hope and help.
To obtain more information about counseling services at The Center, call (619) 692-2077, ext. 208, or email at Delores A. Jacobs is the chief executive officer of The San Diego LGBT Community Center.

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