Behavioral Health-Works Project
Research Project to Provide Better Mental Health Services for LGBTQ+ Youth
Diversity Camp is partnering with Virginia Tech and Carilion to host a research project to benefit LGBTQ+ youth mental health. This project will build a greater understanding of the mental health needs of LGBTQ+ youth and help our community provide better mental health services for LGBTQ+ youth in SWVA. This project is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Meet The Team
Dr. Jody Russon, LMFT
Principal Investigator of The BH-Works Suicide Prevention Program
Dr. Jody Russon, LMFT is an assistant professor and family therapist with the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Virginia Tech. Her research and practice focuses on intervention and prevention strategies for youth depression and suicide. Jody runs a transdisciplinary research initiative at Virginia Tech called ASPIRE (Alliance for Suicide Prevention and Intervention through Relationship Enrichment; twitter: @ASPIRE_VT) and is the principal investigator of a National Institute of Mental Health project, The BH-Works Suicide Prevention Program for Sexual and Gender Minority Youth. Jody works closely with Diversity Camp, Inc. leadership to support mental health, well-being, and suicide prevention efforts for youth in southwest Virginia and surrounding areas. She currently serves as a Diversity Camp, Inc. board liaison for research activities.
Dr. Laura B. Farmer, LPC
Co-Principal Investigator of The BH-Works Suicide Prevention Program
Dr. Laura B. Farmer, LPC is co-founder and Director of Youth SAGA. She works as a mental health therapist in private practice in Roanoke, VA. Her research and clinical interests focus on gender diversity and advocacy for LGBTQ+ individuals. Laura also founded the state advocacy organization Virginia Association for LGBT Issues in Counseling (VA-ALGBTIC) in 2015. She serves as Co-PI on the National Institute of Mental Health project, The BH-Works Suicide Prevention Program for Sexual and Gender Minority Youth. Laura is a Qoya dance and movement instructor, expressive arts enthusiast, and devoted mom of three children.