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Hometown: Columbus, OH
Age: 17 years old
Diagnosis: Gender Dysphoria, Anxiety, Depression
Luna first came to Nationwide Children’s Hospital to consult with the Suicide Prevention Program. They had struggled with their gender identity and mental health throughout their entire life and were seeking a way to heal.
The Center for Suicide Prevention and Research (CSPR) at Nationwide Children's Hospital was created in 2015 to address the growing problem of suicide among youth in central Ohio. Suicide has emerged as the second leading cause of death for children ages 10-19 years old in the United States. Signs of Suicide (SOS) is a nationally recognized suicide prevention program offered by CSPR at Nationwide Children's Hospital. As part of SOS and their overall mission, CSPR also offers information on the warning signs of suicide, how to communicate concern effectively, and support resources.
Through counseling and group therapy, Luna was able to develop coping skills that have immensely changed their world for the better.
Luna soon received a referral to the THRIVE program, and with the help of the clinicians there, they have been able to explore their gender identity.
“Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a literal lifesaver for my child. Their commitment to treating adolescent mental health has made all the difference,” says Luna’s mom, Jennifer.
THRIVE is a program that specializes in care for differences/disorders of sex development (DSD), complex urological conditions, and gender concerns. The THRIVE program works with families of transgender and gender diverse youth and adolescents to help them receive the treatment that is medically and psychologically necessary. The team works to provide a comprehensive assessment for gender-related concerns to determine individualized needs that may or may not consist of gender affirming treatments. It has been shown that treating transgender adolescents with hormones and therapy early in puberty significantly improves social adjustment and decreases anxiety, depression, and suicidality in transgender individuals. The team at Nationwide Children’s consists of endocrinology, psychiatry, adolescent medicine, behavioral health therapists, and medical social work.
"The THRIVE program means the world to me, helping me discover who I am and where I belong. The THRIVE program gives me such a strong support system I don't know where to start to thank them," says Luna
Luna is an artist and writer who loves drawing, photography, and hanging out with friends. Luna dislikes intolerance and is committed to rooting it out through advocacy and education.
As you participate in the Meaningful Miles Challenge in 2020, we know Luna’s story will provide you with the encouragement, strength and dedication to be a champion!