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Past Event

LGBTQ Youth Mental Health: Resilience and Recovery from a Pandemic

Join us for a discussion of LGBTQIA issues and the impacts on the mental health of our youth who navigated their ways through a global pandemic while fighting for civil rights at the same time.

Meet the Speakers

David W. Bond is a licensed clinical social worker and board-certified expert in traumatic stress. He is the director of behavioral health at Blue Shield of California, where he leads initiatives to restore, sustain and enhance the behavioral health and wellbeing of California’s Medi-Cal and Medicare beneficiaries. Before joining Blue Shield, he served as vice president of programs at The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth. He also previously served as manager of youth development programs at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. For 12 years, David was a practicing psychotherapist specializing in children and trauma. He has taught and lectured widely on topics of physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, suicide prevention, clinical and policy considerations for LGBTQ communities, access to care and program evaluation.

T. Drake-Smith, aka YSD, is an artist, activist and actor. By day, she is known as T. Drake-Smith—alias Shorty the Youth Coordinator at the Oakland LGBTQ Center. By night, she’s an entertainer you may have seen on "The Lipstick Series," "Sister Hood fo Hip Hop" on Oxygen and in a KTVU sports commercial. Her latest TV roles are on “13 Reasons Why” & "Lipstick Series." YSD is currently working on music and has been performing professionally since 2010. Young Shorty Doowop's song "Let Em Hate” featuring Slim 400 is currently playing on 106.1 KMEL. She has opened up for Big Freedia, Jadakiss, Young M.A, Dej Loaf, Soulja Boy, Iamsu!, Jennifer Holiday, Jim Jones, Trina, Remy Ma and others, and has performed at San Francisco Pride, Atlanta Pride, in Seattle, Sweetheat Miami, New York, LA and London. Her new album “Night & Day” is available on all digital platforms. You can catch her on the new reality show “Studs of LA” and as a host on Lipstick Television.

Juan Acosta is an award winning LGBTQ+ mental health advocate who serves on national committees, speaks at conferences and festivals, and is a New York Times bestselling author for a book co-authored with Lady Gaga, Channel Kindness. He drafted a historic LGBTQ+ proclamation for his hometown of Woodland, CA. He currently serves as one of the regional managers for the CalHOPE Warm Line. Acosta's awards include the Governor & First Lady Service Award, The Presidential Service Award, the NAMI Rising Star Award, and the Steinberg Institute Mental Health Champion 2021.


This is a free online-only program; please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

Our thanks to Blue Shield of California for making this program possible.

June 21, 2021

United States

Image - David W. Bond

David W. Bond

Licensed Clinical Social Worker; Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Streass; Director of Behavioral Health, Blue Shield of California

Image - T. Drake-Smith

T. Drake-Smith, aka YSD

Artist; Activist; Actor; Youth Coordinator, Oakland LGBTQ Center

Image - Juan Acosta

Juan Acosta

LGBTQ+ Mental Health Advocate; Co-Author, Channel Kindness

Image - Michelle Meow

Michelle Meow

Producer and Host, "The Michelle Meow Show" on KBCW/KPIX and Podcast; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors; Twitter @msmichellemeow—Host