SA researchers seek interview subjects for 'resiliency' study in LGBTQ community

Each participant will receive $40 gift card after confidential interview

By Diana Winters - Executive Producer, SA Live

SAN ANTONIO - A trio of San Antonio researchers launched a study on resiliency in the local LGBTQ community, and they're looking for people to interview.

"What we're doing right now is we're in the middle of recruiting people and conducting interviews with people who are LGBTQ-identified," said Dr. Amy Stone, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology at Trinity University.

The study began when Stone, Dr. Phillip Schnarrs, of Dell Medical School, and Robert Salcido, executive director of Pride Center San Antonio, received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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The title of their project is "San Antonio Strengthening Colors of Pride."

The three-person team represents one of 15 teams across the nation -- led by the University of Minnesota -- that will collaborate and innovate to solve persistent health challenges, while working to advance a culture of health and well-being across all walks of life.

"Thinking about resilience helps us understand how people are able to overcome traumatic events or stressful events that have an impact on their overall health," Schnarrs said.

Stone said interviewees will be asked about their strengths, how they manage hard times, what they find resilient in themselves and what helps them remain resilient.

"They talk a lot about how faith and family are really important for giving them strength and also the role of community," Stone said. "People have also told us very surprising stories of the ways, for example, co-workers have stepped up to take care of them after the death of a longtime partner. They've gotten support, oftentimes, from very unexpected places."

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Ultimately, the trio will disseminate data collect during interviews to recommend policies and strategies for enhancing resilience locally, statewide and across the nation.

"From programs and services -- what can we offer -- to policy initiatives to lobbying to using it as data to show to our elected officials," Salcido said, "to looking at maybe the number of people that have experienced discrimination, (so we can say) this is something that San Antonio needs or this is something that Texans need, and this is the proof we have behind it."

Each interview is confidential and generally lasts one hour. Participants must be at least 16 years old to qualify. Each participant will receive a $40 gift card after their interview. A short survey to determine each applicant's qualifications is available via Twitter and Facebook, and on the Pride Center San Antonio website.

According to Stone, the project will span three years. After the first round of interviews, the study will broaden to reach a larger group within the San Antonio LGBTQ community.

"Our next phase next year will be conducting a really large survey, which has never really been done in San Antonio," Stone said.

"It's pretty interesting to see how far this could go," Salcido said.

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