Polaris – LGBTQ Adolescent Inpatient Unit
WHAT IS POLARIS
Polaris is a first-of-its-kind, inpatient psychiatric unit (18-bed) for sexual and gender minority youth (ages 12 to 17). Polaris provides a place where gender and sexual minority adolescents can receive affirming psychiatric care and help addressing identity. For centuries, people have used Polaris, commonly referred to as the North Star, to navigate long and difficult journeys. Today young people face many challenges and stressors on their journey that can lead to serious mental health difficulties. One such challenge is living as a gender or sexual minority.
Polaris views psychological and emotional distress by examining how stress from a sexual or gender minority has impacted an adolescent’s health and well being. Our clinical programming helps to target psychological stress by using a multidisciplinary team, which consists of psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists and nurses who are trained in providing affirming and culturally responsive mental health services. Polaris provides affirming, evidence-based treatments for gender and sexual minority adolescents, including individual, family and group psychotherapy.
POLARIS CAN INCLUDE:
- LGBTQ culturally-attuned assessments
- Affirming individual and family psychotherapy
- LGBTQ specific group therapies
- Identity specific discharge recommendations
- Parent and caregiver education
To schedule a confidential intake assessment, please call 773-265-3720. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don’t forget to mention you are interested in the Polaris program.
COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD
The Polaris Community Advisory Board was created to provide a vehicle for effective community input regarding Polaris programming, best practices, future planning and impact on the LGBTQ community. We are looking for champions, community leaders and those who are passionate about LGBTQ adolescents and their communities. These champions must be willing to help us better meet the mental health care needs of LGBTQ adolescents and their communities. The board should be reasonably representative of the diverse needs and interests of the patients served by the hospital.
If you are interested in joining our Community Advisory Board, please contact Kyle Bullock, Manager of LGBTQ Services.
LGBTQ HEALTH STATISTICS
According to US Health and Human Service’s Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, LGBTQ health requires specific attention from healthcare and public health professionals to address a number of disparities, including:
- LGBTQ youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide.
- LGBTQ youth are more likely to be homeless.
- Lesbian youth are less likely to get preventive services for cancer.
- Gay youth are at higher risk of HIV and other STDs, especially among communities of color.
- Lesbians and bisexual females are more likely to be overweight or obese.
- Transgender individuals have a high prevalence of HIV and other STDs, victimization, mental health issues and suicide and are less likely to have health insurance than heterosexual or LGB individuals.
- LGBTQ populations have the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol and other drug use.
“I felt comfortable on this unit and I liked how there was LGBTQ staff.”
“I liked how Polaris have groups that are for the LGBTQ community. It showed me that there are other people like me. It showed me not to be ashamed but to be proud of who I am.”
“I felt [better] than being on a male or female-only unit. No one bullied me here. Polaris culture welcomes you and everyone is greeted with respect and kindness.”
“I liked this program because it helped me come out and be proud of my sexuality and who I am.”
“Polaris was very good because I was actually able to get the help that I needed. It’s very different from how I was hospitalized before. This hospital was everything because you stay here until you’ve reached your goal and get the treatment you need.”
Take the First Step
Call 773-265-3700 if you or a loved one is experiencing a psychiatric emergency. We are available 24/7 to discuss treatment options and provide no-cost, confidential assessments. You can also use our online contact form for program inquiries.
In case of emergency, please dial 911 or seek the nearest emergency room right away.