MOORESTOWN In January, the Community Counseling Center of Moorestown Visiting Nurse Association noticed an increase in the number of transgender people seeking psychiatric care, said center director Diana Mears Ritz.

"Many have been bullied; many teens have been disowned," she said. "We thought, 'Maybe this is a support group we should start.' "

The center, a state-licensed outpatient mental-health facility run by the association, will begin hosting a weekly support group on May 6 open to all members of the LGBT community.

The meetings, designed to foster group discussion about issues faced by people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, will run for eight weeks on Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. The free sessions will include discussions on bullying, anxiety, and coping with stress. Discussions will be led by a licensed social worker.

To register, contact the center, located at 300 Harper Dr., Moorestown, at 856-380-1070. Registration will remain open for the duration of the program.

"Sometimes it's easy to talk to someone that's been through it, as opposed to your therapist," Mears Ritz said.

- Jerry Iannelli